Clean Ocean Action

Clean Ocean Advocate, November 2005


COA’S 20th Annual Fall Beach Sweeps Make a Difference

     Volunteers along the NJ shore braved the rain, wind, and brisk temperatures on Saturday, October 22, to participate in the 20th Annual Fall Beach Sweeps.  COA salutes and thanks the volunteers and especially those Beach Captains who persevered to clean the beach and collect important data about debris in the ocean and on beaches.

     Wave of thanks to lead sponsors West Marine, ShopRite, and Verizon, and co-sponsors Comcast, Conectiv, NJ American Water, Prudential Premier Properties, Starbucks Coffee Company, and Surfrider Foundation - Jersey Shore Chapter.  Also, thanks to Belinda Chester, a District Manager for West Marine, and her fellow employees for participating at Sandy Hook, Belmar, and Island Beach State Park beaches.  Special thanks to C. Rooney Produce Company, Sea Bright, for providing delicious apples for volunteers.

     Stay tuned for the dirty details from both the Fall and Spring cleanups in the 2005 Beach Sweeps Annual Report, expected early spring 2006.


     At press time, these are some early reports and highlights:

  • Island Beach State Park - Five West Marine employees picked up bags of debris that included 351 plastic caps/lids and a baby stroller wheel.
  • Ortley Beach (Dover Township) - Eleven people collected nearly 100 pounds  of garbage and noted that plastic items ranked among the highest number of items collected at this beach.
  • Port Monmouth, Middletown Township - Members of Middletown North High School’s SEARCH Club were overwhelmed by the slick of garbage covering the beach (see photo).  The volunteers filled 15 full bags of plastic beverage bottles and reported over 40 “sewage cakes,” which resemble foam plastic, but are actually dense blobs of soap and grease that contain high levels of bacteria.  The “cakes” result from the build-up in combined sewers and are released during rain events.
  • Sandy Hook - Over 100 volunteers, led by students from the Marine Academy of Science & Technology, cleaned one of Sandy Hook beaches.  Among the tons of garbage that volunteers picked up were over 1,600 straws/stirrers, a baseball helmet, and an earring. 
  • Seaside Heights - Seniors from the Marine Academy of Technology & Environmental Science led 76 participants in a successful cleanup, collecting nearly 30 bags of trash.
  • Seaside Park - Girl Scouts Troop 509 from Morristown, NJ, (see photo) picked up many bags of trash at Midway Beach that included a toothbrush and Dura-Flame log.
  • Union Beach - Twelve volunteers found an abundance of syringes, sewage cakes, and drug paraphernalia; many volunteers will return to clean what remains.

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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