Cleanups & Marine Debris

Data collector at 2020 Connecticut Cleanup

Turtles, fish, and birds other species you love seeing in Long Island Sound can become entangled in fishing line, nets, and six-pack rings. They mistake trash like Styrofoam, plastics, and cigarette butts for food, which can poison their bodies with toxins and lead to starvation.

Not only does marine debris threaten the Sound’s fragile ecosystem, it weakens coastal economies by sapping dollars from the tourism and seafood industries. Long Island Sound contributes tens of billions to the regional economy each year, but toxic seafood and trash-covered beaches threaten this powerhouse.

That’s why Save the Sound works to stop litter at its source and organizes coastal cleanups each year to keep trash away from wildlife and out of the waters where you fish and swim. In the past eight years, 15,500 volunteers have removed almost 110,000 pounds of trash from Connecticut’s shoreline, protecting countless creatures and communities.

International Coastal Cleanup

East Haven Town Beach cleanup, part of the 2020 Connecticut Cleanup

Save the Sound is the Connecticut coordinator for Ocean Conservancy’s annual International Coastal Cleanup, the largest volunteer effort of its kind. Every September for more than 30 years, ICC has motivated over 11.5 million people around the world to pick up over 210 million pounds of trash from nearly 390,000 miles of shoreline.

Join us! Find a coastal or inland cleanup near you and register for 2020 Connecticut cleanups.

Thanks to the hard work of volunteers just like you, the International Coastal Cleanup is a success year after year. Our 2018 ICC results:

  • 50 cleanup events
  • 1,442 volunteers
  • 7,617 pounds of trash in 627 bags
  • 65 miles of waterfront covered
  • Notable items found included: 16,585 cigarette butts, 6,622 candy wrappers/chip bags, 3,320 plastic bags, 441 yards of fishing line, 349 balloons, 50 vape cartridges, 32 shotgun shells, 6 bags of dog poop, and 2 mattresses.

Corporate Sponsorships and Cleanups

Save the Sound seeks corporate partners to support our coastal cleanup program with financial contributions or in-kind gifts of essential supplies.

To coordinate a company cleanup for your organization or make a supportive contribution, please e-mail Annalisa at

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Friday, June 25
Webinar: Surveying Fish on the Move: Recapping the 2021 Migratory Fish Run - Fish Biologist Jon Vander Werff has been out all season monitoring your local fish populations, including those at many past ecological restoration projects. Join him to learn about the monitoring he’s been doing, what he’s found, and how those numbers can guide action for our regional environment in the years to come.

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