Friday, October 31, 2014

Thousands Clean Up NJ Beaches

Waves of thanks to the 3,000 volunteers that hit the beaches to participate in Clean Ocean Action's 29th Annual Fall Beach Sweeps this past Saturday, October 25th. Volunteers at 72 locations from Essex County to Cape May County removed and cataloged each piece of debris, helping to document ongoing pollution issues.
The data recorded from the clean-up will be combined with data collected from the spring at the April 26th Beach Sweeps, then analyzed and presented in an annual report produced by Clean Ocean Action. The Beach Sweeps annual report identifies pollution problems and educates citizens on the quantities and types of marine debris. It is amazing what is found washed up or left on the beaches!

On Sandy Hook alone, Beach Sweep volunteers picked up: 268 plastic forks, spoons and knives; 2651 plastic caps and lids; 760 cigarette filters; 4137 plastic pieces; 277 plastic shopping bags; 52 pens; 2099 plastic straws; 27 syringes; and 304 tampon applicators. The rainstorm in the days prior to the clean-up helped to create large amounts of debris.

In addition to logging standard debris counts for various plastics, glass and lumber items, Sweeps volunteers also recorded the strange objects that make their way to the beach from various nonpoint sources. Some of the ridiculous items cataloged included: fireworks; a piece of car door; an 8' by 4' piece of fiberglass from a boat; a rusty anchor; a trunk of metal tiles; a bike handle; a bag of mice; chicken bones; a Lego castle; men's underwear; a bikini; and pom-poms.
The Beach Sweeps help to remind all beach goers and volunteers the importance of disposing of trash properly and runoff as almost all waterways, including rivers and streams, lead to the bay and ocean. Therefore, it is important to stop the pollution at the source and reduce the amount of debris that is picked up at the Beach Sweeps.

We look forward to next year at the 30th Annual Beach Sweeps! Stay tuned for more exciting events, official dates, and clean-up opportunities for the 30th Anniversary of the cleanup.

With gratitude, Clean Ocean Action thanks Aveda, Bank of America, ShopRite and Kohl’s for their 2014 Beach Sweeps Statewide Sponsorship. The Fall Beach Sweeps are made possible by support from many generous sponsors.

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