Love pelicans? You can help protect them from harm. Today, Saturday, September 21st is Coastal Cleanup Day and ocean lovers around the world will come together to rid the world’s shores of thousands of tons of trash that blight beaches and harm wildlife.
International Bird Rescue, an Alex and Ani Charity By Design partner who benefits from sales of the Pelican Charm Bangle, knows all too well the damage caused by marine debris. Based in California and well-known for its work in catastrophic oil spills, this non-profit organization treats hundreds of birds each year impacted by pollution at its two California centers in Los Angeles and the San Francisco Bay.
Fishing line and fishing tackle pollution is a particular threat to Brown Pelicans, which have only been off the endangered species list for four years. Hook injuries in particular aren’t pretty; they’re downright heartbreaking. As part of its Blue-Banded Pelican program, International Bird Rescue is a world leader in ensuring that these soaring, majestic birds continue to thrive.
Plastic ingestion by seabirds is another confounding environmental problem, whether for the albatrosses on Midway Island in Hawaii or for species elsewhere on the planet. Mistaken for prey, the plastic is swallowed and sometimes fed to chicks. Over the past decade, several International Bird Rescue staff and volunteers have had the privilege to visit Midway on cleanup missions, as well as an annual albatross count conducted by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Their team also helps monitor plastic pollution through the seabird research it conducts with partner institutions.
Want to participate in Coastal Cleanup Day this weekend? For California cleanup events, visit www.coastal.ca.gov. For national and international cleanups, visit the Ocean Conservancy’s listings map here.