“Clean Ocean Action is thrilled to see so many hardy all-weather friends of the ocean turnout today with trash buckets in hand! COA is constantly evolving the Beach Sweeps. This year, inspired by long time volunteers, COA launched the inaugural Bring Your Own Bucket (BYOB) campaign to further reduce the number of plastic bags used during the Beach Sweeps and was delighted by the incredible response,” said Cindy Zipf, Executive Director, Clean Ocean Action.
The COA collects data after every beach sweep in order to create a lasting record of information that will improve public awareness, change wasteful habits, enforce litter laws and improve policies to reduce sources of marine debris, the organization said.
Sandy Hook had one of the largest amounts of volunteers this year. A preliminary tally of trash collected revealed.
- 15,068 plastic pieces
- 12,344 food/candy wrappers
- 7,570 plastic caps/lids
- 5,366 straws/stirrers
- 2,939 foam pieces
Throughout Beach Sweeps, volunteers are asked to make note of any out-of-the-ordinary items. Thes are put on the COA’s “The Roster of the Ridiculous”.
Some of the items found from today’s sweep were: an axel, car bumper, candy wrapper from North Carolina, color printer cartridge, deck of a skateboard, film container, first aid kit, hula hoop, push broom, roll of caution tape, and a sweater, according to the COA.
“This is such a meaningful day for me and my town. All of the garbage must be picked up by human hands, because the beach cannot do it by itself. We have hundreds of heads bobbing around the beach and it’s so exciting to see. I know they all would’ve come out rain or shine,” said Margot Fernicola.
Many of the days volunteers took to social media to promote the event and share the impact their one day of service has made.