Clean Ocean Action

      Waves of many THANKS for a successfull Spring 2024 Beach Sweeps!



Click here for Sponsorship Opportunities

Click here for Volunteer Opportunities

Beach Sweeps Captain

Junior Beach Captain

Beach Sweeps Volunteer

Questions about the Beach Sweeps? Find answers on the Beach Sweeps FAQ page.

To view photos from the Spring 2023 Sweeps, please click here!

Click here and scroll down for a list of Sites and Registration

                                 2024 Beach Sweeps Sponsors


                                                  Statewide Sponsors









                                                     County Sponsors




                     Beach Sweeps Dates: April 13th & October 19th, 2024

COA's 2023 Beach Sweeps Report

Waves of thanks to the 8,148 volunteers who helped to collect 376,969 items during just 6 hours of sweeping last year. We had some significant changes this report, like Plastic Shopping Bags leaving the "Dirty Dozen" list for the 1st time since 2007 ranking at #14!

Read more about how the data has changed, and if NJ's “Single Use Waste Reduction Act” is working:



About the Beach Sweeps

In 1985, COA launched the region’s first Beach Sweeps program to rid beaches of unsightly and harmful debris.  COA's Beach Sweeps is one of the longest running cleanups of its kind in the world.  The program has grown from 75 people at one site in 1985, to over 10,000 volunteers in 2018.  Volunteers gather from Raritan to Delaware Bays and along the ocean to clean beaches and waterways, as well as underwater sites.  They join as groups (community, school, business, and organization), families, or individuals.  Participants collect and record valuable data about debris, which is presented in annual reports and used to advance federal, state, and local programs to reduce litter.

Fish, whales, birds, and other animals often mistake litter for food.   As a result, animals get entangled in or ingest items, such as plastic bags, cigarette filters, and fishing line, with deadly results.  Cigarette filters mimic fish and have been found in the stomachs of birds and larger fish, blocking and affecting their digestion.  Also, the filters are made of plastic fibers and trap carcinogenic (cancer-causing) chemicals that are introduced into animals’ bloodstreams.  
Moreover, plastic litter takes a few years to several hundred years to break down, thereby threatening wildlife for decades.  Litter in waterways can also foul boat motors and propellers, resulting in costly repairs.  Finally, littered beaches can ruin a day at the beach.  Garbage slicks and wash-ups close beaches to swimming and are detrimental to tourism and the coastal economy.


Who should participate in Beach Sweeps?

Volunteers of all ages. Children age 12 and under must be supervised by an adult. Registration is required. Register here!


How to get involved in Beach Sweeps:

  • To participate in the Beach Sweeps first review the list of Beach Sweeps sites.
  • Once you've selected a site, click here to register to participate! Registration is required.
  • The event runs from 9:00 am – 12:30 pm. Please note when registering that certain sites may be a different day and/or time. Event is rain or shine.
  • Bring gloves and a trash bucket (this helps to reduce the number of plastic bags used).
  • Wear sunscreen and hard-soled shoes.
  • Dress for the weather. Stay off dunes and respect wildlife.
  • Volunteers can click here to learn more about becoming a Beach Captain.

If you have any questions about the Beach Sweeps please contact: 

Clean Ocean Action



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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