Creating Waves of Change: Our Day of Action

Discover how this Girl Up USA leader organized a shoreline cleanup in honor of Earth Day–and the staggering impact she had!

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Estimated reading time: 2 minutes

This Earth Day, Girl Up USA and Ocean Wise joined forces to address the pressing issue of plastic pollution through the Heal Our Planet Campaign. 

Selected as one of 20 girl leaders around the nation, Hagerty Girl Up, held our shoreline cleanup at the Little Econ Wilderness Area in Oviedo, Florida. Using our $250 Heal Our Planet award, our girls and youth partnered with our school’s Science National Honor Society to branch out to other students beyond Girl Up and double our impact. In total, 12 leaders took action and as reported in our Action Report, we collected 3.7 pounds of trash! 

Right before the event, our city sent out an alert about avoiding streams due to blue and green algae blooms. This obstacle reminded us of the importance of clean shorelines, and we were still able to collect trash while keeping a safe distance from the water. 

Over 11 million tons of plastic enter the ocean annually. During our cleanup, we found items such as cigarette butts, plastic bottles, tissues, nicotine devices, and other small plastics. By using our training from Girl Up’s webinars, we focused our event on education, action, and advocacy. 

We were so excited to be selected as one of two Girl Up teams in Florida, joining the 20 cleanups and more than 550 girls and youth taking action nationally. It was amazing and inspiring to think that there were cleanups happening 5,000 miles away from me to protect the same ocean. By engaging in our shoreline cleanup, we mitigated the harmful effects of plastic pollution on marine life and contributed valuable data to reduce plastic waste. 

Learn more about the Heal Our Planet campaign and how Girl Up leaders around the USA organized shoreline cleanups in their communities here.


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