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Daniel Angelis, Founder, One Beach at a Time

“Day by day, piece by piece, one beach at a time” is Daniel Angelis’s motto. A lifelong beachgoer and “beach cleaner,” Daniel Angelis is currently located in the Netherlands and has cleaned beaches throughout Europe. He states that he “could never rest if there was trash on the beach or surrounding area and couldn’t enjoy it until it was clean.”

Coastal areas he has cleaned include Greece, Germany, the Netherlands, the Dutch Caribbean Islands of St. Eustatius Saba and St. Maarten and Italy. Daniel participated in the World Plogging Championship in Italy taking 8th place out of100 participants from 27 countries. The craziest find:  a cow on a beach.

Inspired to do more, Daniel formed his own non-governmental organization, One Beach at a Time, to pick up trash on beach shores. Through his organization, Daniel studies Coastal and Marine Management and authored a sustainability report to see if it was feasible to start collecting and registering marine litter. Daniel has also authored three books.

As part of his One Beach at a Time cleanup efforts and as a participant in the Clean Earth Challenge, Daniel estimates that he collected 206,000 pieces of trash along the shores of different European beaches during a three-month period in 2023. With the help of family and friends, the number has now grown to 240,000 pieces of trash collected. Wow!

A noteworthy effort not included in the 240,000 tally was a beach cleaning effort that Daniel and his two friends led as the group called “Locals of Molyvos.” They cleaned up 117 boats and more than 700 tons of marine litter along the Greek coast during spring and summer.

Throughout his cleanups, Daniel found so many odd things that he made a collection on Instagram and posted as an “item of the day.” Daniel has also found countless shoes and started the #shoepermaket hashtag. Another noteworthy find was a tray of Fanta with about 100 cans of soda that was either for airplane or commercial boat consumption.

Of course, all the trash is properly disposed of and counted. When possible, Daniel recycles or reuses items  for a “second life” and passes along items to friends. Plastic-based marine litter is recycled; found cattle feeding bags are reused for more cleanups; old nets are used to protect chicken from bird attacks; poles are bases for gardens; and fishing gear is reused to fish with. Bottles will be part of an outdoor grill/oven and old weathered glass is transformed into mosaics and so much more.

Currently Daniel tries to do a cleanup once or twice a week with a friend and when his daughter, Mare (named for the sea) is at daycare once a week. Daniel’s dedication, passion, and activity goes to show that every action—whether large or small—makes a big difference for wildlife, people, and the planet.

Thank you for all you do and helping to keep the beaches clean! Go Daniel!

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