FOLLY BEACH, S.C. (WCBD)- As the world is celebrating World Ocean Day, a College of Charleston graduate student has organized a cleanup effort right here along the South Carolina coast.

World Ocean Day is a day of environmental protection awareness sanctioned by the United Nations on which citizens are encouraged to participate in conservation efforts. It was first proposed by Canada during the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Cheyenne Cunningham, a CofC grad student and Coastal Carolina alum, is directing a global coastal cleanup on Wednesday in Myrtle Beach, Folly Beach, Maui, H.I., and the Galápagos Islands.

The first of the planned cleanups, made possible through a partnership with Midlands-based nonprofit Global Eco Adventures, takes place at 10 a.m. along the Grand Strand boardwalk.

Then the group heads south to Folly Beach for a cleanup along the Folly coastline starting at 3 p.m.

“We need to create a far greater awareness not only of the pristine beauty of these beaches, but of the critical importance of caring for and protecting them going forward,” Thomas Mullikin, Jr. president of GEA said. “These two beaches as well as the other two on Maui and the Galapagos were chosen for their particularly unique environmental importance and exceptional aesthetic value.”

Also slated for Wednesday is a clean-up along the east coast of San Cristobal in the Galápagos Islands as well as further inland where community street leads to local waterways.

“At all four beaches we want to engage local communities and encourage and inspire them to keep our waterways and oceans clean,” says Cunningham. “We want them to, in a figurative sense, take possession of what is naturally theirs and all of ours.”

A clean-up is planned for Maui, but a location and time has not been determined.

Those who want to participate in one of the clean-ups are not required to register in advance.

“Keeping our coasts and watersheds clean will keep us all clean and healthy.” Cunningham adds. “Healthy oceans equal healthy humans.”