SANDY HOOK–Clean Ocean Action (COA) invites citizens and organizations to participate in the 27th Annual Fall Beach Sweeps on Saturday, Oct. 20 at over 65 sites along the Jersey Shore. The Beach Sweeps begin at 9 a.m. and end at 12:30 p.m., rain or shine.
“Twice a year, once in the spring and fall, citizens gather along the Jersey coastline to show their support for a clean ocean by volunteering at the Beach Sweeps,” said Tavia Danch, COA Education Coordinator.
The Beach Sweeps is much more than picking up trash, it’s about collecting data to help reduce sources of pollution. Volunteers are instructed to record the quantity and types of debris found. The information collected at the sweeps is analyzed and published into annual reports. These reports help identify pollution problems, aid legislators in enacting laws to protect our marine environment, and are helpful in local, national and international efforts to combat marine pollution. In addition, COA submits data from the Fall Beach Sweeps to Ocean Conservancy’s International Coastal Cleanup efforts, an international program to reduce marine debris in the world’s oceans.
“Litter is not only ugly, it can harm marine life through entanglement and ingestion,” said Cindy Zipf, executive director of Clean Ocean Action. “The Fall Beach Sweeps is a great way for people to give back to the ocean after a summer of fun and enjoyment. Thanks to volunteers and the data they collect, Clean Ocean Action works throughout the year to reduce the sources of marine debris,” she added.
COA encourages participation from volunteers of all ages individually or from businesses, families, and organizations. Groups of 10 or more are requested to pre-register by using the online sign-up form on www.CleanOceanAction.org. Pre-registration for individuals or groups of less than 10 is not required. Volunteers should bring & wear gloves, dress for the weather, apply sunscreen, and wear closed-toed, hard-soled shoes. Click here for a complete list of sites.
Started in 2012, Beach Sweep volunteers can go the extra mile and collect donations for Clean Ocean Action’s ocean protection work. Raise $100 and receive Clean Ocean Action’s popular ChicoBag made from recycled plastic bottles. Raise $200 and receive an organic cotton 2012 Beach Sweeps t-shirt. Teams can join the effort at http://www.crowdrise.com/BeachSweeps.
“Collecting donations from friends and family seems like a great way to raise awareness and get people more excited about the event and helping our environment,” commented Bay Head Beach Captain Shelley Kirk regarding COA’s new fundraising initiative.
COA’s Beach Sweeps first started in 1985 at Sandy Hook with 75 volunteers. Since then, over 90,000 citizens, the small and the tall, removed over 4.5 million pieces of trash.