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Calling all who love our shorelines and want to help make them healthier for people and wildlife! Save the date, Sunday, September 20th, for the 5th annual Bainbridge Island Beach Cleanup! The signup for cleanup will go live this summer. In the meantime, you can read more about the cleanup in our FAQs below.

BI Beach Cleanup FAQs

Please register at the BI Beach Cleanup Signup Genius, which will help 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 we can, 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!

This year we will not be doing assigned locations on a mile-by-mile basis as we did previously. We’ll be focusing on access points at public road ends and public shorelines, as well as encouraging private landowners to use this as an opportunity to remove debris on their properties. The signup provides and 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 between noon and 3pm 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- is 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 comfortable walking shoes or rubber boots -wear shoes with a good grip – some of our beaches have slippery rocks!- sunscreen, and a water bottle. Bring your phone; a smartphone is great if you have one and would like to download and use the free CleanSwell app (see below for links) to track what you have collected. If you don’t have a smart phone, you can download and print a paper copy to bring with you, and then either mail in or scan and email back to Ocean Conservancy. Please note that for your app or paper form, our Cleanup Site Name is “Bainbridge Island”.  Bring bags and/or buckets (sturdy, and reusable!) for collecting trash: you can use your own, or pick up bags and gloves, as well as 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.

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 [email protected] 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 snap a photo of it and email it to [email protected] with a location and brief description of its state, such as whether it is buried. If its a very large item it may be something we need to try to address at another time.

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 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 11:30 am and 3:30 pm.

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

  • Use the free CleanSwell App (available for Android and iPhone)
  • Post to our Facebook page
  • Post pictures on Instagram using the hashtags #bainbridgeislandbeachcleanup and #litterati (the latter is a global trash tracking program)

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

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