World’s largest volunteer beach cleanup and Okinawa’s 22nd Ryukyu Cleanup Challenge begins

By E. Heinrich-Sanchez

NPO Okinawa O.C.E.A.N. and volunteers in Okinawa join hundreds of thousands of people around world for the 30th annual International Coastal Cleanup. Go to for details.

This weekend volunteers from Naha to Nago, Ishigaki and Miyakojima are participating in cleanups coordinated by Japan Environmental Action Network (JEAN) and NPO Okinawa Ocean Culture & Environment Action Network (Okinawa O.C.E.A.N.). On Okinawa cleanups are planned at Senaga Island, Yomitan and Henoko. Volunteers are participating in the 30th annual International Coastal Cleanup, the world’s largest single day volunteer effort to clean up our beaches, lakes and rivers. In Okinawa, the cleanups start on September 19th and continue up to November 11th.

Volunteers are invited to join in coastal cleanups during the 30th annual Inter-national Coastal Cleanup campaign from Sep. 19th to Nov. 11th.

Volunteers are invited to join in coastal cleanups during the 30th annual Inter-national Coastal Cleanup campaign from Sep. 19th to Nov. 11th.

Three main sites will kick off the start of the campaign:

  1. Sedake Beach (North), Henoko, Nago City Sunrise Cleanup
  2. “Jyane” Beach (Dugong Lookout Beach), Cape Maeda, Onna Village 10:00 – 12:00. Lunch at Cape Maeda (self pay).
  3. Namihira Beach, Yomitan, Torii Station Volunteers organized by Ashley DeBerry.

Next week is “Silver Week” with Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday off in Japan. Special cleanups will take place during the “Peace for Sea International Peace Camp in Okinawa” on Sep. 19th and Sep. 22nd during the 17th Annual Full Moon Festival in Sedake, Henoko, Nago City. For more information, see

September 21st is the United Nations International Day of Peace. As a symbolic gesture for a sustainable future and resilient oceans from 2033, please join people around the world to listen to, sing-a-long or humm along to “IMAGINE” by John Lennon.  Synchronize and join at 09:21 and 21:21 then upload and share.

Pope Francis will be addressing the US Congress on September 24th and then visiting Cuba. We call volunteers from Henoko to Havana to the Canary Islands where cleanups will take place. It’s time that we accelerate action to get our planet back on track to health. Oura Bay has been proposed as an ocean “Hope Spot”. 

International Coastal Cleanup Volunteers do more than just pick up trash: they document every bag, bowling ball and bottle cap, contributing to the only annual index of global marine debris. This citizen science has informed policy, and led to a new area of scientific research.

Ocean trash compromises the health of humans and wildlife, and hurts local businesses in our local tourism and fisheries that rely on a healthy ocean.

Last year, more than 500,000 people picked up 16 million pounds of trash along 13,000 miles of coastline. In Japan 4,846 volunteers found 65,315 pounds of trash in 2014.

Keeping our ocean free from trash is one of the easiest ways to make the ocean more resilient. From creating less trash to using proper trash disposal, everyone can help keep our ocean clean and free of debris.

For photos, video, graphics, and statistics, please contact: or call 202-351-0476.

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NPO Okinawa O.C.E.A.N. is part of the World Ocean Culture & Education Action Network’s mission to promote Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) to guarantee the right of children in the world to grow up on clean beaches and healthy oceans for a World Ocean Renaissance by 2033 towards a sustainable 22nd Century. Earth Charter Affiliate.

Ocean Conservancy is working with you to protect the ocean from today’s greatest global challenges. Together, we create science-based solutions for a healthy ocean and the wildlife and communities that depend on it.

00:12 28 May , 2024