NEW LONDON, Conn.--The Connecticut College Women's Rowing program participated in the Ocean Conservancy's International Coastal Cleanup Day on Saturday, September 19, 2015. Their goal was twofold: to collect over 100 pounds of refuse for the Ocean Trash Index and to cleanup the Thames River, the home of the Connecticut College Rowing Program.
"The Ocean Trash Index presents state-by-state and country-by-country data about ocean trash collected and tallied by volunteers around the world on one day each fall during Ocean Conservancy's International Coastal Cleanup®. Volunteers have collected data since 1986, and the numbers are used to raise awareness, identify hotspots for debris or unusual trash events, and inform policy solutions. In 2014 over 561,895 volunteers participated in the event finding 16,186,779 pounds of trash across 13,360 miles around the globe," states The Ocean Conservancy 2015 International Coastal Cleanup Report.
The Thames River sits on the east side of campus and is used by both the rowing and sailing programs for practice and competition. Sensitivity to the environment has been a consistent priority of the rowing program. In May of 2013, the rowing boathouse became one of the first rowing facilities in the nation to run completely on solar power.
To start the day, team met at 8 am at the Connecticut College Boathouse. After nearly an hour of searching the shoreline of the boathouse, the team hiked up river to Mamacoke Island, part of the Connecticut College Arboretum. The items most found: 280 small pieces of foam, 202 pieces of plastic, and 122 plastic beverage bottles. A random assortment of plywood, plastic earplugs, metal, cigarette butts, balloons, bottle caps, rope and a tire added to the bulk found. Most unusual items found: 1 Barbie Doll leg, a welding glove, the back of a small guitar and a computer printer in two pieces.
This is first year the team has volunteered to participate in the Ocean Conservancy's International Coastal Cleanup Day. The team is proud to raise awareness to the cause of environmental stewardship of the Thames River and Mamacoke Island. In addition, Anne Lizarralde from the Botany Department, Kraig Clark from the Arboretum Staff, Jessica LeClair, CC' 08 and current assistant coach for the women's program, and Grace Steward, CC' 15 join the team for the cleanup challenge.