Clean Ocean Action

Waves of thanks to over 5,000 volunteers who participated in COA's Spring 2022 Beach Sweeps! The next Beach Sweeps will be held on Saturday, October 22, 2022 from 9am-12:30 pm. Registration will be open shortly after Labor Day!

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



COA's 2021 Beach Sweeps Report is now available!

Waves of thanks to the 10,003 volunteers who helped to collect a record 513,605 items during just 6 hours of sweeping last year. Read more data highlights in the press release.

 


                                               

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. Volunteers can select a check-in time of either 9:00 am or 10:00 am. Event is rain or shine.
  • Bring a face covering, 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

732-872-0111

outreach@cleanoceanaction.org

Headquarters:

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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