In an effort to help identify sources of debris and improve beaches and waterways, Norwalk River Watershed Association communities will participate in the Ocean Conservancy’s annual International Coastal Cleanup this month.

For more than 30 years, the ICC has motivated more than 11.5 million people worldwide to pick up more than 210 million pounds of trash from nearly 390,000 miles of shoreline each September.

In 2015, nearly 800,000 ICC volunteers collected more than 18 million pounds of trash, according to the Ocean Conservancy’s Annual Ocean Trash Index.

The Norwalk River Watershed community — which includes Norwalk, Wilton, New Canaan, Weston, Redding and Ridgefield, Conn., and Lewisboro, N.Y. — has participated in the annual cleanup for five years.

This year, Woodcock Nature Center is participating for the first time, said Woodcock Director Mike Rubbo, who will attend local ICC events in Ridgefield and Norwalk this month.

“I’m looking forward to engaging the local community in conservation projects that demonstrate the importance of protecting our watershed,” said Rubbo.

Marine debris talk


On Wednesday, Sept. 7, Chris Cryder, special projects coordinator for Save the Sound and leader of its coastal cleanup program, will lead a talk at Ridgefield Library called The Menace of Marine Debris in Long Island Sound & Beyond.

Cryder will review the growing problem of marine debris in the Long Island Sound and oceans, efforts to prevent and reduce it, and how volunteer cleanups can help.

The talk begins at 7 p.m. and is sponsored by the Norwalk River Watershed Association (NRWA) and Woodcock Nature Center. To register, email: info@norwalkriver.org.

Shoreline cleanup


On Saturday, Sept. 10, volunteers will meet at Heritage Park near the intersection of Ann and North Water streets in Norwalk to clean up the Oyster Shell Park shoreline, from 9:30 to 2.

Volunteers will bag, weigh, categorize and report trash they collect to the Ocean Conservatory to help track and eliminate ocean debris. The cleanup is sponsored by the NRWA, Woodcock Nature Center, Norwalk Land Trust, Harbor Watch and The Sheffield SoNo.

Families are welcome to participate in the cleanup and waterproof footwear is advised. Lunch will be provided at The Sheffield SoNo clubhouse at 55 North Water Street.

The rain date for the clean up is Sunday, Sept. 11. For more information, call 877-NRWA-INFO or email info@norwalkriver.org.

To learn more about the the Ocean Conservancy, visit oceanconservancy.org.