SANDY HOOK – For 25 years, Clean Ocean Action has been organizing Beach Sweeps, where volunteers clean up litter by combing New Jersey’s 127 miles of coastline. In 2010, a record number of volunteers (8,372 citizens) collected more debris than ever (471,321 items).
“The Beach Sweeps is a beachy opportunity for the tall and the small to give back to their ocean, take a stand against litter, and rid the shores of marine debris. During these 25 years, citizens have also created a legacy of information that we can use to fight for better anti-litter programs and educate people about the harms caused by marine debris to the economy and wildlife,” said Cindy Zipf, Executive Director of Clean Ocean Action.
Clean Ocean Action (COA) released the 2010 Beach Sweeps Report today, highlighting the Dirty Dozen, Roster of the Ridiculous, and the totals for over 95 items of marine debris collected by volunteers in 2010. Once again, the majority of the debris removed was disposable plastics—items designed to be used once and thrown away. Plastic including foam represents over 80% of the total waste found. It is clear: these “disposable items” are washing-up on beaches in greater numbers than ever seen before.
“Pollution continues to flow from many non-point sources on land and combined sewer outfalls in the New York City and New Jersey metropolitan area,” said Clean Ocean Action’s Staff Scientist, Heather Saffert, PhD, who reviewed the data from 1993-2010. “We are fortunate that there are so many dedicated people who care about the ocean and volunteer to pick up the trash and save marine life from its damaging effects.”
Citizens are encouraged to celebrate Earth Month by attending a Beach Sweep on April 30 from 9 a.m. – noon. For a listing of the site locations, as well as the complete Beach Sweep Report, go to http://cleanoceanaction.org/index.php?id=777
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