To those who would suggest that only New Jersey beaches have a litter problem, take a good look around any beach, city, or town. Litter is a bane the world over. To those who would rather stick their head in the sand and ignore the problem, what good comes from that? Marine Debris is a serious problem especially for marine animals that can be harmed by entanglement or ingestion of plastics; it can also render beaches a disgrace. Here in Jersey we take pride in our beaches and defend our waters tenaciously.
Last weekend, thousands of citizens, flocked to Jersey beaches and volunteered for Clean Ocean Action’s Beach Sweeps. The small and the tall scoured the sand of harmful and ugly debris that had washed ashore and accumulated over the long winter or was left behind by the careless or clueless. These hearty souls also recorded what they found and created a legacy of evidence that is used to reduce litter. Last year’s events took over 471,321 pieces of trash off our beaches. These noble acts of Jersey Pride by the Beach Sweepers improve our beaches as a way to give back to the ocean that provides them such joy and bounty. They are also testament to the power of the people to help solve problems and keep the real JerseyShore a natural and economic treasure. We salute them and send waves of thanks. Be Jersey proud and step up. Make your beach or neighborhood a litter free zone.