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Ocean Park and Bank of America Merrill Lynch Join Hands to Celebrate the 25th Anniversary of the International Coastal Cleanup by Collecting 300 kg of Trash

2010-09-27

(Hong Kong –September 27, 2010) Local ICC sponsor Ocean Park and Global ICC sponsor Bank of America Merrill Lynch (BofAML) joined event organizers Ecovision Asia, Ocean Conservancy and hundreds of thousands of volunteers around the world to celebrate the International Coastal Cleanup and a 25-Year Sea Change on Saturday, September 25th, 2010.

Volunteers included Ocean Park SmartFun Annual Pass holders, Ocean Park staff, BofAML employees and family. They collected a total of 69 bags of waste weighing close to 300 kg. Materials mainly consisted of Styrofoam, plastics and rubber materials.

Trash is one of the most widespread pollution problems threatening our ocean and waterways – and it’s entirely preventable. It is a threat to marine wildlife and ecosystems; and undermines tourism and economic activity, potentially threatening our food supply and human health.  When we trash our ocean, we trash our life support system.

During the 2009 International Coastal Cleanup, 500,000 volunteers removed 3.7 million kilos of debris, in 108 countries. Locally, 6,500 participants cleaned more than 30,000 kilos of debris from Hong Kong’s beautiful coastlines and an even greater turnout is expected this year with more than 125 teams already signed up.

Ocean Park’s Deputy Chief Executive and Environmental Steering Committee Chairman, Matthias Li, said, “This year marked Ocean Park’s 7th consecutive year taking part in the International Coastal Cleanup campaign since our first cleanup in 2004. Over the past 7 years, a total of 1,500 kg of trash has been collected by over 500 volunteers.”

Mr. Li added, “Ocean Conservancy and Ecovision have done a great job in raising awareness in our community, and we are very pleased to support their efforts together with ICC global sponsor BofAML during this year’s event, which is particularly special as it marks the 25th anniversary of ICC as well as the 10th anniversary of Ecovision serving as the campaign organizer for Hong Kong. We hope that our efforts will continue to inspire more organizations in Hong Kong to join our endeavor, and to mobilize even more members of our community to take part in this meaningful event.”

Long term global ICC event sponsor, BofAML, which has a 10-year, $20-billion environmental business initiative dedicated to addressing climate change through lending, investing, products and services, philanthropy and its own operations said, “This is a worthwhile project which gives our bank associates a chance to create positive change in the communities where we live and work. Hong Kong beaches represent some of the city's greatest assets, and protecting this resource should be a key priority for everyone. With a project such as this, it is excellent to be able to involve such a large group of volunteers and make this a truly valuable community event.”

"The ocean is our life support system – yet marine debris continues to threaten its health. From product design to disposal, we all have a role to play in keeping our ocean clean and eliminating marine debris,” said Lisa Christensen, CEO of EcoVision. “The International Coastal Cleanup is an essential step to finding solutions.  Data collected by dedicated volunteers inform solutions to the threat of trash in our ocean. By understanding sources of marine debris, we can work together to solve this problem. “

Photo 1: Ocean Park partners with Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Ecovision in hosting this year’s International Coastal Cleanup in Hong Kong
Photo 1: Ocean Park partners with Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Ecovision in hosting this year’s International Coastal Cleanup in Hong Kong
Photo 2 and 3: 300 kg of trash has been collected in this year’s coastal cleanup
Photo 2 and 3: 300 kg of trash has been collected in this year’s coastal cleanup