Individuals give back to their community in their own unique ways. For example, COA supporters prefer to volunteer by cleaning up their local beach. Others want to use their expertise and skills to give back to an organization.
In 2011, a team of volunteers from Bloomberg LP first participated in COA’s Corporate Beach Sweeps program. They were inspired by data that had resulted and expanded their unique relationship with COA, taking it from the beach to the office, to explore the data from the Beach Sweeps Program. As you may know, every Beach Sweeper becomes a ‘citizen scientist’ as they record each piece of debris collected on our data cards. The data collection turns a one-day event into a legacy of information that can be used to identify sources of pollution and monitor trends. This research helps COA discover solutions to keep beaches clean and healthy, create federal, state, and local programs to reduce litter in the environment, and protect the public and marine life. Today, COA has over 20+ years of this carefully tracked information. But what does it really say? Has marine debris in New Jersey changed over time?
In the spring of 2014, Bloomberg LP partnered with COA to thoroughly analyze the Beach Sweeps’ data set. This analysis will be the first of its kind in Beach Sweeps history. The goal is to more accurately monitor trends throughout the years and eventually link those trends with various legislation from the past, present, and future, as well as to trach consumerism, weather, and industry changes. In addition to this analysis, the Bloomberg LP team has been working on an innovative technological approach to data management for the Beach Sweeps program. They do so voluntarily, dedicating hundreds of hours.
An overview of the goals of the partnership was released at the Debris Free Sea Conference in November (please check COA’s website to view the presentation), and a more detailed analysis will be ready for the public in 2016.
COA salutes the Bloomberg team for all the volunteer hours and for their dedication. It is a pleasure working with the dynamic team. They have accomplished a great deal and we look forward to what the future holds for our partnership. COA is also grateful to Bloomberg LP for generously matching their employees’ hard work through their “Dollars for Your Hours” program.