Clean Ocean Access is deeply experienced in tackling waste issues on Aquidneck Island and beyond. Clean Ocean Access will be using this knowledge to expand its work to address marine debris pollution with the launch of a composting pilot program in Newport, RI that aims to inspire long-lasting environmentally responsible behavior necessary to improve ocean health.
In Rhode Island, plastic makes up 10-15% of the material entering the landfill. Food waste makes up another 30-35%. The state has the potential to divert nearly half of all materials that enter the landfill, or worse, end up as marine debris in the ocean. This cross-collaboration program called Healthy Soils, Healthy Seas Rhode Island will bring together four organizations (Clean Ocean Access, Aquidneck Community Table, The Compost Plant, and Rhodeside Revival.) to establish business, residential, and backyard composting. Rhode Island faces a severe waste issue, with its central landfill expected to reach capacity by 2034 – composting is a pivotal opportunity to address this issue and improve ocean health.
Clean Ocean Access is a not-for-profit organization with a mission of “action today so future generations can enjoy ocean activities.” COA has performed over 650 marine debris removals (coastal cleanups) around Aquidneck Island since September 2006 and removed more than 120,000 pounds of small to medium size marine debris. After eight years of success with over 6,000 volunteers, the organization has shifted its focus towards a comprehensive approach that combines marine debris removal with prevention through education and engagement to eliminate plastic pollution and ocean litter. These programs are just a portion of COA’s long-term portfolio of efforts with a vision of a healthy ocean that is free of marine debris with water that is safe for all ocean activities and a shoreline that is accessible to the public. For more information, please visit www.cleanoceanaccess.org.