Posted by: Drew | February 27, 2009

Clean Ocean Action Celebrates 25 Years – 600 Citizens Launch a Year of Action by Going Green to Save Big Blue

Clean Ocean Action (COA) will commemorate its silver anniversary of groundbreaking advocacy for a clean ocean with a celebration Saturday evening February 28 from

7-11pm designed to herald past accomplishments and inspire a renewed grassroots dedication to preserve and protect the quality of marine waters and shoreline. This festive evening at Langosta Lounge in Asbury Park, New Jersey will kick-off COA’s 25th year of working to protect the waterways and shoreline with the launch of the “Call To Action Campaign”:

A year-long effort to inspire citizens to take an active part in saving the ocean and the environment.

As a nod to COA’s quarter century of efforts on behalf of the environment, the goal of the “Call to Action Campaign” is to inspire 25,000 citizens to pledge 25 ways to save the ocean. Party-goers will have the opportunity to initiate their efforts by exploring Pollution Solution Action Stations that will be placed throughout the venue. Each station will offer the opportunity to learn about and pledge to carry out simple actions that can result in a cleaner environment, from signing online and paper petitions and switching from plastic water bottles to reusable containers, to cleaning beaches of unsightly debris during a COA Beach Sweep or supporting the organization by attending future seaside COA events. In addition, “Call to Action Campaign” booklets will be available at each station outlining 125 suggested actions to choose from in the coming months. The booklets will also be available throughout 2009 at www.cleanoceanaction.org.

“Our 25 years prove that it’s all about people power,” said Cindy Zipf, COA Executive Director. “Citizens recognize the importance of a clean ocean not only to the health of our families and critters, but also to the health of our multi-billion dollar coastal economy. It is citizens and their actions that have contributed to the success made in ocean protection and who can help to further improve and protect the ocean,” she added.

COA is also taking the opportunity to illustrate how a little thought and inspiration in every day life can benefit the world around us. With assistance and creative input from local artists and volunteers, the decor for the anniversary celebration follows a green philosophy including:

* A commemorative Clean Ocean Action logo created from plastic bottle caps ( a salute to COA’s plastic cap recycling contest).

* A wave wall of recycled plastic water bottles.

* Bottle cap curtains inspired by similar crafts observed in Africa.

* 10 foot jellyfish handmade from fabric and umbrellas.

*Clear plastic boxes containing the Dirty Dozen items found on beaches.

“In this new world, it’s inspiring that COA’s volunteers embrace our commitment to hosting a fun-filled green event. They have created an amazing party that will inspire others to decorate with a duty to protect their fragile planet. From our green service ware to the creative décor, our supporters trust us to ensure that our fun does not harm the earth and that we spend their donations wisely,” said Jennifer Smiga, COA’s Events & Development Director.

Since it’s founding in 1984 the mission of Clean Ocean Action has been to improve the degraded water quality of the waters off the New Jersey/New York coast. Clean Ocean Action will identify the sources of pollution and mount an attack on each source by using research, public education, and citizen action to convince our public officials to enact and enforce measures which will clean up and protect our ocean. Among COA’s accomplishments are:

* The closing of all eight ocean dumpsites formerly located off the New York/

New Jersey coastline and passage of Federal laws prohibiting toxic materials into the ocean.

* Improvement in coastal water quality as a result of better water testing programs.

* The creation of statewide Beach Sweeps, since 1993 over 60,000 volunteers have removed 2.7 million pieces of trash from the Jersey shore.

* Inspiring the next generation to improve and care for the environment through COA Student Summits and the Student Ocean Advocates.

* Engaging citizens and businesses in waterway stewardship through the Waterway Bay Buddy Program.

As the only full-time northeast coalition working exclusively and effectively for a clean ocean, COA’s future agenda is extensive. Among their goals are passage of the

“Clean Ocean Zone” Bill H.R. 2854 and the Beach Protection Act of 2008, continued campaigning to stop the industrialization of the ocean, and the creation of additional programs to engage and educate young people such as Classroom Capers by the Numbers.

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