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The Conservation Almanac
         Beach Clean-Up Update

Earth Day 2020: Beach Clean-Up Update
Share your stories and photos, win a prize! 

Thank you to everyone who has pitched in already to our month-long, Island-wide, social-distancing Earth Day Beach Clean-Up. We still have plenty of books, canvas shopping totes, and VCS hats to give away, so don't be shy!

For more about this year's plans click the link above, or just head out right away and get cleaning. Traditionally, the clean-up has been organized by volunteers at specific beaches (see list below), but this year we are encouraging people to get out and clean everywhere not just beaches, but trails, roads, and any other public outdoor space. Happy hunting, and thank you!

Photos: Tisbury's Isla and Nolan Dori (above) and Lily and Elwood Albiston (below), got an early start on Earth Day and have already claimed their prizes. Thanks for the good work!  

Historical sites of the Earth Day Beach Clean-Up

Lobsterville, Philbin, Tribal Beaches (Aquinnah); Menemsha, Lucy Vincent, Squibnocket (Chilmark); Felix Neck, Fuller Street, Lighthouse Beach, South Beach Left & Right Fork, State Beach at Bend in the Road, Wasque Point (Edgartown); Eastville Point, State Beach (Little Bridge & Big Bridge), Town beaches from the SSA to Pay Beach & Inkwell (Oak Bluffs); Lagoon Pond Landing, Lake Street Landing, Tashmoo Opening, Owen Little Way, Owen Park, the V.H. harbor from the SSA to RM Packer (Tisbury); and Cedar Tree Neck and Lambert’s Cove (West Tisbury)


Earth Day 1992: A Rebirth for the Beach Clean-Up

By Penny Uhlendorf
Though the first Martha’s Vineyard Earth Day Clean-Up was conducted in 1970 to honor the original Earth Day (read the account by organizer Bob Woodruff), the continuous string of now-annual beach clean-ups began in the early 1990s.

In an effort to rekindle the interest and enthusiasm from the Earth Day 20th Anniversary Fair at the MV Regional High School, I decided in 1992 to organize the first Island-wide Earth Day Beach Clean-up, cleaning ten of our Island’s beaches with the help of many volunteers. VCS was an important sponsor, as were the Martha’s Vineyard (nee Savings, nee Co-operative) Bank, MV Surfcasters Association, the Lagoon Pond Association, and the MV League of Women Voters.

The following year, VCS took ownership of the event as the primary sponsor. I continued to organize the beach clean-up on their behalf until 2004, at which time VCS took on management duties. They then continued the expansion of the event’s reach: over the years, the clean-up has grown in volunteer participation, organizational strength, number of beaches, and sheer volume of garbage collected. 

There are so many sponsors, organizers, and volunteers over the years that truly deserve a hearty "thank you," but there are a few whose support has been of an especially long duration: The Lagoon Pond Association and Margaret Curtin, MV Surfcasters and Tom Robinson, former VCS board member Bob Berry, the Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head (Aquinnah), the Unitarian Universalist Church and Janet Holladay, the MV Savings Bank, Friends of Sengekontacket, Chuck Ratté, the MV League of Women Voters and Mary Miller, the Great Pond Foundation, Island Paddle Tours, the Girl Scout Juniors and Tammy Perry, and the many other scout groups, including Brownie Troops 523 and 779, Cub Scout Packs 90 and 93 and Den 4, Chilmark Girl Scouts, and Daisy Troop 129.

Above: Penny Uhlendorf and Dave Nash serve up pizza (donated by the dearly departed Flatbread Co.) at an after-party hosted by Tisbury Wharf Co. See all the photos from the 2012 beach clean-up.

Stuck Inside? Check Out these Environmentally-Conscious Films

Whether you're self-quarantining for two weeks, or just stuck indoors on a cold, rainy day, this list of films from Common Sense Media will help bring the spirit of the outdoors to your couch. Common Sense Media is focused on reviewing and rating movies from the parent's perspective, but these are all good ones regardless of your age – enjoy!

Twisted behavior. See more photos from the 2019 Beach Clean-Up
Copyright © 2020 Vineyard Conservation Society, All rights reserved.

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