Volunteers Needed For World’s Largest Waterway Clean-Up Day

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STATE – Volunteers passionate about cleaner lakes, rivers and oceanfronts here in New Jersey, and around the world, are needed on Sept. 15 to assist in the planet’s largest volunteer clean-up for waterway and ocean health.

New Jersey area volunteers are asked to take part in this world-class event by joining a confirmed clean-up effort, or coordinating their own, and registering by the Sept. 1 deadline. Individuals and groups — including township officials, residents, businesses and frequent visitors to the state ? can register at www.njclean.org.

Hosted locally by New Jersey Clean Community Council (NJCCC), the Ocean Conservancy’s annual International Coastal Cleanup event has motivated 8.5 million people – including those from New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania – in more than 100 countries to cross nearly 300,000 miles to collect more than 144 million pounds of trash from the world’s waterways since 1986.

In 2011, in the New Jersey area alone, 3,407 volunteers pulled 53,474 pounds of garbage along 104.88 miles of coast. Those successes are expected to multiply on Sept. 15, according to Sandy Huber, executive director, NJCCC.

“Already dozens of New Jersey’s environmentally-aware mayors, county coordinators, community groups, and hundreds of individuals have responded to NJCCC’s call-to-action to contribute to this high-profile event, with excitement and volunteerism building for this 26th annual clean-up much earlier than years prior,” Huber reported. “But many more volunteers still are needed to make this day a milestone success.”

The focus of International Coastal Clean-up Day is as much on inland and urban waterways as it is on New Jersey’s shores, since a piece of trash dropped in Morristown, Trenton or elsewhere can end up in our ocean, Huber said: “We all are connected to this growing litter issue, and must take action, no matter where someone drops or sees trash in the New Jersey area.”

Clean-up sites already confirmed for Sept. 15 and through October include Camden’s waterfront, Laurence Harbor Beachfront in Old Bridge, beach and bay in Atlantic City and Brigantine, Belmar, Cape May Point. The expanding list of targeted sites can be accessed at the NJCCC’s International Coast Clean-up website page. NJCCC will provide the official bags for trash and recyclables as well as gloves, data cards and other materials to registered volunteers.

Any groups interested in coordinating their own clean-up site as part of this high-profile event – or anytime during the year – should contact NJCCC; officials there will assist groups in gaining any required approvals from the local authorities.

More specific information and clean-up day guidelines for municipalities, team captains and volunteers also may be found at the NJCCC website.

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