Thousands Of Volunteers Sweep NJ Beaches & Waterways

Volunteers record data about items collected at Sandy Hook during Clean Ocean Action’s Fall Beach Sweep on Saturday. (Photo courtesy COA)

STATE – Saturday, thousands of volunteers hit the beaches to participate in Clean Ocean Action’s (COA) 27th Annual Fall Beach Sweeps at 60 sites along the Jersey Shore. Volunteers removed and cataloged each piece of debris to document ongoing pollution issues. Robust crowds were reported up and down the coast.

“Human trash is now found on every shoreline in the world and throughout the global ocean. Human trash not only makes beaches ugly, it maims and kills marine life. We must do more to reduce plastic pollution and Beach Sweeps are one way citizens can help. People love the beach and ocean and are proud of the real Jersey Shore, it is inspiring and our elected officials should take note.” said Cindy Zipf, executive director of COA.

The data collected Saturday will be combined with data collected at the Spring Beach Sweep this past April; it will then be analyzed and presented in an annual report. These annual reports identify pollution problems, educate citizens on the types and quantities of debris, aid legislators in passing and enforcing laws to protect the marine environment, and contribute to local and international efforts to combat marine pollution. Last year’s 2011 Annual Beach Sweep Report is available at

“The Beach Sweeps are an excellent illustration of the public’s support for a clean ocean,” commented Tavia Danch, Clean Ocean Action’s education coordinator for pollution prevention. “The program, specifically the data-collection element, builds community support for solutions, raises awareness about the negative impacts of litter, and teaches citizens about the types and quantities of debris found,” added Danch.

The Fall Beach Sweeps were made possible by support from sponsors including Atlantic City Electric, Aveda, Bank of America, Comcast, Montecalvo Material Recovery Facility, Surfers Environmental Alliance, and Wakefern/Shoprite.

“Atlantic City Electric is proud to continue our support of Clean Ocean Action and its legacy of improving water quality and protecting waterways through public education and citizen outreach,” said Ken Mosca, public affairs manager, Atlantic City Electric.

“I cannot stress how important it is to be involved in an organization like Clean Ocean Action,” said Valerie Montecalvo, president of Bayshore Recycling Corporation, whose reclamation complex is located in Woodbridge. “The abundance of waste and floatable debris found on New Jersey’s beaches is shocking. The survival of our ocean and its precious ecosystems are vital to the existence of mankind and its future generations,” she added.

Since 1985, over 90,000 volunteers have participated and removed over 4.5 million pieces of debris from New Jersey’s beaches and waterways. To date, Beach Sweeps is one of the longest running cleanups of its kind in the world.

To learn more about the Beach Sweeps and Clean Ocean Action, visit

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