Clean Ocean Action

Clean Ocean Advocate, November 2004


Volunteers Clean Beaches of Harmful Litter

It was a partly sunny, brisk, autumn day along New Jersey’s shore, and an estimated 2,000 ocean enthusiasts from hit the beaches for a morning of beach cleaning.  Clean Ocean Action’s (COA) 19th Annual Fall Beach Sweeps was held on October 23 at over 50 locations from South Amboy to Sandy Hook, to Cape May. 


Coinciding with national “Make a Difference Day,” tons of trash was removed from beaches and along waterways.  Volunteers picked up trash and collected valuable data about the debris, including type and amount.  The information about the debris is recorded by volunteers on data cards and is compiled and analyzed by COA’s Tony Totah.  Results are forwarded to The Ocean Conservancy for their international database about marine debris.  Collecting data is critical to identifying pollution problems and trends, educating citizens and businesses about the harmful effects of litter in the marine environment, and engaging citizens in the fight against this form of ocean pollution.  Stay tuned for the dirty details from 2004 Sweeps, expected early 2005.  Mark your calendars to participate in the Spring Sweeps on April 23, 2005, to help kick off our 20th year of Beach Sweeps.


The Fall Sweeps was made possible by sponsors Party With Purpose and Panasonic, and supporter, The J.P. Morgan Chase Foundation.  Special thanks to the dozens of Beach Sweeps Captains who organized and coordinated the sites, and the towns and parks who hosted cleanups.  In addition, COA is grateful to all the

businesses and individuals, too many to name here, who provided in-kind donations, such as food and beverages, to participants.

Fall 2004 Beach Sweeps Highlights:


Middlesex & Monmouth Counties:

  • Tires, shoes, and loads of plastic items were found at Raritan Bay Waterfront Park in South Amboy, a new Beach Sweeps site.
  • 350 people cleaned two ocean beaches and one bay beach at Sandy Hook and found 2,684 plastic caps/lids among the debris, as well as a Yankee vs. Detroit ticket for July 5, 2004.  Volunteers also planted 7,000 plugs of dunegrass.
  • Belmar had what is believed to be its biggest turnout with nearly 90 volunteers.
  • 20 volunteers in Ocean Grove picked up 600 fireworks on the beach.

Ocean County:

  • Nearly 100 volunteers in Seaside Heights picked up plastics, plastics, and more plastics, and hundreds of cigarette filters.
  • At Island Beach State Park in Seaside Park, volunteers, including a group of students from Pennsbury High School in Yardley, PA, collected 64 rubber and mylar balloons, with and without string/ribbon.

Atlantic County:

  • Richard Stockton College of NJ students were joined in Atlantic City by the NJ State Police’s Atlantic City Marine Station.
  • Students from Villanova University and Holy Cross High School participated in the cleanup in Long

Cape May County:

  • More than 85 residents, scouts, and the South Jersey Parrot Head Club joined in the cleanup in Sea Isle City.  Volunteers also planted dune grass.
  • 15 girl scouts from Egg Harbor Township swept the beach in Strathmere and found a TV.

2004 Fall Beach Sweeps


49 Avenel Blvd.
Long Branch, NJ 07740

Field Office:

Gateway National Recreation Area
Sandy Hook, New Jersey

Voice: (732) 872-0111
FAX: (732) 872-8041

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