Blue October Marine Debris Art Challenge on way

By Edo Heinrich-Sanchez & Dolores Prin

Onna Village Umi Kirei Committee took part in a beach cleaning campaign.

So, Okinawa!  Aren’t we lucky?  We get to live on one of the most beautiful islands in the world.  We don’t want trash in our gorgeous blue ocean and on our sparkling beaches.  Now is the time for everyone to help, and set free your inner artist at the same time!

Information on all trash collected was duly recorded.

This month is BLUE OCTOBER, when all over Okinawa, people are cleaning up the beaches.  This year, we’re asking you to find that special piece of trash, turn it into art, and send a photo to  You could win one of many fantastic prizes for your creativity and artistic sensibility.  So don’t waste time—do your beach cleanup today, and enter to win iTunes gift cards, adopt a planted coral or your very own sea turtle!

Blue October Marine Debris Art Challenge with The U.S. Bureau of Oceans and Science will celebrate the Ryukyu I.C.C. The goal of the art challenge is to increase awareness of the problem of marine debris, show how individuals can come together to remove debris, and highlight the need for international cooperation to address many of the sources of marine debris.  Participants are encouraged to be creative, but be aware some materials should not be used in art projects, such as dangerous or unhygienic materials, including broken glass, cigarettes, or medical waste.

Started by the Okinawa International Clean Beach Club (OICBC) we are celebrating the 20th Anniversary of the I Love Okinawa Campaign and as Ryukyu Islands Coordinators for the Ocean Conservancy’s International Coastal Cleanup (ICC) by NPO Okinawa O.C.E.A.N.

Everyone is encouraged to download bi-lingual Ryukyu ICC Data Cards and become a Citizen Scientist to help record ocean trash in order to help us analyze, publish and affect policy while we work towards reducing our impact.  For questions on where to cleanup contact

The U.S. Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs (OES)  are co-sponsoring this art contest throughout the month of October together with  Ryukyu ICC supporters joining hands with the Okinawa NGO Center, Okinawa Clean Coast Network (OCCN), the Ocean Conservancy, and ocean lovers worldwide.

Special support to this project is being given by the U.S. Department of State at Consulates and Embassies worldwide.

Timeline is as below:

Sep. 21/22 beach cleanup campaign began

Sep. 22 – Fri, Oct. 18 Art submissions are sent as photographs to

Oct. 22-23 VIPs to the Okinawa NGO Asia-Pacific Environmental Forum  judge submissions.

Top 10 Winning artwork will be displayed at OIST gallery during the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) Northwest Pacific Action Plan (NOWPAP) Workshop on Waste Management, Oct.24-25 at the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate University (OIST).

Oct. 26 The 20th Anniversary Cape Maeda to Malibu Beach and Underwater Cleanup.  For Karate Kids please join us in wearing your Karate gi’s from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. followed by hotdogs and cokes on the beach.

Prizes are awarded at Coconut Moon at Malibu Beach, Onna Village during our 20th Anniversary Reception from 17:30 to 19:30. Details are at

For more information on organizing a group beach clean-up and cleanup resources, go to or email your questions to

03:34 29 Feb , 2024