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Get active together and have fun as a group picking up whatever litter is out there. One big way you can help create a clean water future is by removing litter that is already in our waters or litter that is on the side of the road that will wash down into our our rivers, bayous and beaches.

Community cleanups are a great way to do something positive for your community, make friends, get service hours, exercise, and to help organizations monitor and learn about pollutants and problems in the watershed. There are many different kinds of cleanups already scheduled, and you can start your own, too.


750 Tons of Debris in Alabama in 30 Years

Since 1987, over 77,000 volunteers have participated in the Alabama Coastal Cleanups and picked up a total of more than 750 tons of debris.

Debris on Dauphin Island Beach - Photo by Caitlin Wessel

Over 5 Million Tons of Plastic

Of the 300 million tons of plastic waste created in 2010 in coastal countries, scientists believe 5.2 to 14 million tons of it enters the oceans then washes up on our beaches (Science, 2015)

Degraded plastics recovered from Dauphin Island by Caitlin Wessel

5,229,065 Pounds of Trash Picked Up in 2020

In 2020, volunteers picked up 5,229,065 pounds of trash across the world's coastlines. Plastic bags are consistently in the top 10 trash types collected during cleanup days worldwide (Ocean Conservancy, 2021).

364,218 Small EPS Foam Pieces Recovered in 2021

In 2020 as part of the International Coastal Cleanup, volunteers recovered over 364,218 small pieces of plastic eps foam that had broken off cups and to go containers (Ocean Conservancy, 2021).

Things You Can Do

Attend a Community Cleanup

View our community cleanup page for dates and times of area cleanups

Start a Social Media Page

Use Facebook, Snapchat, or Instagram to connect with friends and help spread the word about picking up trash. Then tag pictures of your work with #CleanWaterFuture

Use Marine Debris Tracker App

You can participate in a project to help collect data about marine pollution by downloading and using the app for Android and iPhone.

Start Daily Litter Walks

Join up with friends or go solo, and do a daily litter clean-up walk. It's great exercise and helps keep trash out of our rivers and bays. Take a plastic bag with you, a pair of work gloves and a litter picker. Read about Mobilian Robin Roberts experience.

Organize Your Own Clean Up Event

Exercise your personal leadership skills and organize your own clean up event! You can rent a clean up kit at the Mobile Baykeeper.


Alabama Coastal Cleanup

Take part in Alabama's largest annual volunteer event as you clean your neighborhoods, local parks, streets, and storm drains too. Trash travels through storm drains, streams, and rivers to become bay and Gulf pollution. Picking up litter benefits you, your community and the Gulf.

Mississippi Coastal Cleanup

Since 1988, volunteers have been making a difference by removing tons of marine debris from our Mississippi coastlines during the annual Mississippi Coastal Cleanup event.

Marine Debris Tracker

Debris Tracker is designed to help citizen scientists like you make a difference by contributing data on plastic pollution in your community. We've been tracking litter since before smartphones existed, and we're still driven by uniting technology and citizen science to fight plastic pollution. Every day, dedicated educational, non-profit, and scientific organizations and passionate citizen scientists from all around the world record data on inland and marine debris with our easy-to-use app, contributing to our open data platform and scientific research.

Cleanup kits available for rental from Mobile Baykeeper

Baykeeper provides cleanup kits that can be checked out from their office so you are able to clean up in your neighborhood with neighbors, friends, and family.

Related Actions

Bring Your Own Bag

Plastic bags are often found in our waters when they blow away or are disposed of improperly. They remain there for generations to come as they slowly degrade into small pieces that are easily misconceived for food by fish and marine wildlife.

Types of Pollution

When water rushes off hardened surfaces, erosion of sediments degrade water conditions and smother and disrupt seagrass growth and the habitat for benthic organisms they provide.

Compounds like oil, grease, and heavy metals take a long time to break down and threaten the health of both aquatic and human life.

Litter is not only unsightly, but it also causes a variety of problems to the ecosystem as it enters our waters where it is often is mistaken for food by fish and invertebrates.

Too much fertilizer, pet waste, and other nutrients in our water often lead to serious problems like lowering dissolved oxygen levels, preventing seagrass growth, and killing fish.

Disease-causing microorganisms, including bacteria, viruses, and other single-celled organisms, are referred to as pathogens, some, like Salmonella, cause human health problems.

While pesticides are designed to be toxic to certain organisms, they can often be harmful and kill other species in the marine system that are important for the entire ecosystem.