Loading Events

Calling all who love our shorelines and want to help make them healthier for people and wildlife.  Sunday, September 15, 2024, is the 9th annual Bainbridge Island Beach Cleanup. The link to sign up will go live this summer; more information is available below!

BI Beach Cleanup FAQs

Please register at the BI Beach Cleanup Signup Genius. This helps us track participation and keep in contact with you about the event!

Signing up with us helps in a number of ways: we can reach you with important information about the cleanup, you can help us track the amount of trash we are collecting during the event, and we have a better sense of the number of folks who want to help and whether we’re actually covering all the shoreline area we are hoping to clean. While you can of course go out any time to pick up shoreline debris at your favorite beach (please!), this one-day event is a big concerted effort to cover as much of the Island as possible, and letting us know you want to participate is a great help.

You do not need to be part of a team to participate. Anyone can help— individuals, couples, families, friends, coworkers. If you would like to make your own team, all you need is to do is designate a contact person to register and have that person let us know how many of you are in the group. It is that easy!

We focus on access points at public road ends and public shorelines, as well as encourage private landowners to use this as an opportunity to remove debris on their properties. The sign-up provides an opportunity for you to indicate where you are planning to go that day, which will help us get a sense of the coverage across the Island.

No need to sign in at all. All you need to do is remove as much as trash at your location sometime between 10am and 1:00pm that day.

What a great problem to have! Due to the influence of winds, tides, and local currents, some beaches might have a lot of trash while others seem to have very little. And some pieces might be really small, but removing even those tiny pieces helps a lot. Every bit of trash you can remove helps our shoreline environment, so even if it does not seem like much—you are making a difference! It’s important to note, too, that a beach that may not at first seem to have much debris might, on closer inspection. Microplastics — small pieces of plastic hidden in the sand and beach wrack — are found everywhere. See below, “Where on the shoreline should I focus,” for more tips on how to search for debris.

  • Dress comfortably and appropriately for the weather, including wearing comfortable walking shoes or rubber boots.
  • Wear shoes with a good grip — some of our beaches have slippery rocks!
  • Consider using sunscreen and bringing a water bottle and gloves.
  • A smartphone is great if you have one and would like to download and use the free Clean Swell app to track what you have collected. Ocean Conservancy uses these data to make up their annual worldwide list of the most-collected beach litter. (Food wrappers topped the list in 2019.)  The MyCoast.org free app will come in handy if you find objects too big to haul. (See related FAQ.)
  • Bring bags and/or buckets and gloves for collecting trash.  You can use your own, or pick up bags and/or buckets to borrow and return at the Miller Road gravel parking lot, just south of Congregation Kol Shalom and north of New Brooklyn Rd., prior to heading out to your site. BI Parks will leave a bin with trash bags at four of the main shoreline parks: Fay Bainbridge, Blakely Harbor, Fort Ward and Pritchard. After filling the bags with beach trash, you may leave them right next to the bin.

Yes, they are welcomed and encouraged to participate! Please make sure they are under adult supervision, especially when it comes to picking up trash that could be sharp or dangerous.

Explain that you are part of a one-day, island-wide volunteer beach cleanup where we are doing everything we can to make our beaches more beautiful and healthier for humans and wildlife. Because we are focusing on public road-ends and public shorelines, we don’t expect your presence in these public areas to be an issue. If someone does ask you to leave their property, please respect their wishes.

No – we want you to do only as much as you can with the time you have available. If you have a section with very little trash that doesn’t take you very long, fantastic! If you have a section that has too much trash for you to deal with in the time you have available, that is okay, too — please let us know if it is an area you think needs more attention. Email info@sustainablebainbridge.org with the location and information about what you think is needed.

Focus your efforts between the high tide-wrack line (this is often where seaweed has piled up, and where a lot of trash is located) and the water. Keep your eyes peeled for small pieces of plastic as well as larger debris. If you find it necessary to move a rock to remove trash, please replace those rocks, as they are often home to ocean life. Also, there might be items upland of the high tide line that could look like trash but might be private property. If you aren’t sure, please leave it alone.

If you find an item like this, the best thing to do is to use the free MyCoast.org app to alert Washington Department of Natural Resources so that our local and state agencies can find and remove the item. Examples of items that are good to report on this app are washed-up boats or boat pieces, large buoys, Styrofoam floats, and creosote logs.  Be sure to snap a photo of it right where it’s located so those coordinates can be used at higher tides to find it again.  If you can’t use this app, then email info@sustainablebainbridge.org with a location and brief description of its state, such as whether it is buried.

If you’ve collected a small amount of trash and are willing to just take it home and put it in your garbage, that works great. Otherwise, bring your beach trash to our event collection station at the Miller Road gravel parking lot, located north of New Brooklyn Rd and just south of Congregation Kol Shalom on the east side of Miller Road. The collection station will be open on the day of cleanup between 9:30 am and 1:30 pm.

We have many ways for you to share what you have collected, including:

  • Use the free CleanSwell App* (available for Android and iPhone)
  • Make a public Facebook post using #bibeachcleanup or share to our Facebook page
  • Post pictures on Instagram using the hashtags #bibeachcleanup and #litterati (the latter is a global trash tracking program)
  • Email info@sustainablebainbridge.org

* Interesting factoid: Because of beach cleaners’ record keeping, we know that 2019 was the first year in which candy wrappers chip bags became the most commonly found beach trash, surpassing cigarette butts as the top item for the first time.

Take the Plastic Pledge.  For one month, try to change a single-use plastic behavior to see if it becomes a habit!

Collaborating Organizations

Why we conduct a beach cleanup…

Thank you for doing your part to help keep the Bainbridge shoreline clean and healthy for everyone!

Connect with BI Beach Cleanup

Help others get involved - share this!