In 1993, the movement expanded globally as Clean Up The World, and today it engages millions of volunteers to clean up their own communities in more than 100 countries.
“It is the people acting at the local level that will force the change,” Mr. Kiernan said at an environmental gathering in Sydney in 1992, where he lobbied delegates from the United States, China, Japan, England and New Zealand to join his campaign.
The Clean Up movement, said Ms. Johnson, was founded on Mr. Kiernan’s own no-nonsense, down-to-earth attitude. “He hated people who would pontificate and rattle on about things; he just wanted to get it done,” she said.
Mr. Kiernan, she said, shared his love of the ocean with Australians in general, which is what made his message so powerful.
“He wasn’t a traditional greenie,” Ms. McKay said. “He didn’t have a political ax to grind.”
Born on Oct. 4, 1940, to George Arthur Kiernan and Leslie Katherine Kiernan, Mr. Kiernan grew up in Sydney and attended Scots College and The Armidale School in New South Wales. He later became an accomplished sailor, competing in dozens of interstate and overseas races, including a 1998 race in which a storm killed six people, the deadliest sailing competition in Australia’s history.
In 1995, Mr. Kiernan was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia for his service to the environment. In his lifetime, he was also awarded a United Nations Global 500 Award,a World Citizenship Award and a Centenary Medal, was made an officer of the Order of Australia and was named Australian of the Year.
Mr. Kiernan is survived by his wife, Judy; his two daughters, Sally and Pip; and his son, Jack.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison said on Wednesday that Mr. Kiernan’s passion for the oceans had “struck a real chord” with Australians.“The thing that I think Ian did most was just tap us all on the shoulder and say, ‘Hey, we’ve got to take care of this,’” he said.