Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Volunteers Find the Wild, the Wacky and the Weird During Beach Sweeps

Clean Ocean Action 2012 Annual
Beach Sweeps Report Released
A Citizen Call to Action for April 27, 2013

Photo Credit: Joe Sapia
Clean Ocean Action (COA) released the 2012 Beach Sweeps Report today, highlighting the Dirty Dozen, Roster of the Ridiculous, and the totals for over 90 items of marine debris collected by volunteers last year.  To view the Beach Sweeps Report online, click here.  

In 2012, 6,926 volunteers collected, tallied, and removed over 350,000 pieces of debris from NJ’s shoreline during Clean Ocean Action’s 27th Annual Beach Sweeps.  The majority of the debris removed was disposable plastics—items designed to be used once and thrown away.  Plastic, including foam, represents 82.7% of the total waste found.  It is clear: disposable plastic items continue to litter beaches, threaten marine life, and impact water quality

The Beach Sweeps has become New Jersey’s largest environmental event with thousands of citizens combing nearly all 127 miles ocean coastline and bay beaches.  The spring event coincides with Earth Month to provide citizens with an educational, hands-on, meaningful, rewarding activity to make a real difference.

During these 28 years, over 100,000 citizens have collected over 5 million items, tabulated data, and created a legacy of information that is used to fight for better anti-litter programs and educate people about the harms caused by marine debris to the economy and wildlife.

The majority of the debris removed was disposable plastics including:
  • 49,362 cigarette filters
  • 22,308 straws and stirrers
  • 38,349 caps and lids

Odd items collected, contributing to the "Roster of the Ridiculous" are:

  • Earmuffs
  • Hairclip with fake hair
  • False eyelashes
  • Shopping cart
  • Fortune cookie
  • Stuffed horse
  • Magic wand
  • Vampire teeth
  • Ant trap
  • Boomerang
  • Brake shoes
  • Baby shark toy
  • Message in a bottle
  • Wicker sofa
  • Christmas lights
  • Stove burner

Call to Action 2013
Want to be a part of Beach Sweeps? Clean Ocean Action (COA) invites citizens and organizations to participate in the 28th Annual Spring Beach Sweeps on Saturday, April 27, 2013 at over 60 sites along the Jersey Shore. 

To view the Beach Sweeps Report online visit, www.cleanoceanaction.org. For a complete list of site locations and details, please visit www.cleanoceanaction.org.

All volunteers must register through www.cleanoceanaction.org.  Volunteers should bring gloves, dress for the weather, apply sunscreen, and wear closed-toed, hard-soled shoes.

Consider Taking your Beach Sweeping to the Next Level
Collect donations for your volunteer efforts and raise funds for COA's ocean protection work.  Raise $100 and receive Clean Ocean Action's popular ChicoBag made from recycled plastic bottles.  Teams can join the effort at http://www.crowdrise.com/BeachSweeps

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