Sandy Hook, NJ - Clean Ocean Action (COA) invites citizens and organizations to participate in the 27th Annual Spring Beach Sweeps on Saturday, April 21 at over 70 sites along the Jersey Shore.  The Beach Sweeps begin at 9am and end at 12:30 pm, rain or shine. 

“The Beach Sweeps offer citizens the opportunity to give back to their local marine environment, as well as become citizen scientists for the day,” stated Tavia Danch, COA’s Education Coordinator. 

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The Beach Sweeps is much more than picking up trash, it’s about collecting data to help reduce sources of pollution.  Volunteers are instructed to record the quantity and types of debris found.   The information collected at the Sweeps is analyzed and published into annual reports.  These reports helps identify pollution problems, aid legislators in enacting laws to protect our marine environment, and inform local and international efforts to combat marine pollution. COA will release the 2011 Annual Beach Sweep report mid-April, just in time for the spring Beach Sweeps. All reports are available on-line at www.CleanOceanAction.org.

“The data is essential to help motivate action to reduce sources of litter,” said Cindy Zipf, COA’s Executive Director.  “It also proves that New Jersey cares about its shores and wants to make them clean,” she added.

COA encourages participation from volunteers of all ages individually or from businesses, families, and organizations.  Groups of 10 or more are requested to pre-register by calling 732-872-0111, or using the online sign-up form on COA’s website.  Pre-registration for individuals or groups of less than 10 is not required.  Volunteers should bring gloves, dress for the weather, apply sunscreen, and wear closed-toed, hard-soled shoes.  Click here for a complete list of sites.

Beach Captains greet volunteers at each site, distribute cleanup materials, and give instructions throughout the event.  For a list of sites, the group sign-up form, and other tips, visit www.cleanoceanaction.org and follow the links for “Beach Sweeps.”

“I love being a Beach Captain and getting our communities involved! Hearing a 5-year-old shout, ‘Let's go clean up the beach Mom!’  is thrilling,” commented Ocean Grove Beach Captain Amanda Gorsegner about her leadership role. 

A number of businesses partner with COA to sponsor the Beach Sweeps.  The Statewide Sponsors for the 2012 Beach Sweeps are Atlantic City Electric, Aveda, Bank of America, Comcast, Montecalvo Material Recovery Facility, Wakefern Shoprite, Surfer’s Environmental Alliance, and Verizon. Monmouth County sponsors include:  Becton Dickinson, Brook 35 & West, The Grove, Mercedes Benz, and United Teletech Financial.  Individual site sponsors include: Adventure Aquarium for Ocean City – 57th Street, Bloomberg for Belmar – 1st Ave, Brookdale Community College for Sandy Hook, Enterprise Rent-A-Car for Sandy Hook, Jenkinson’s Aquarium for Point Pleasant Beach, Monmouth County Realtors Association for Asbury Park, New Jersey Natural Gas for Belmar – 16th Ave, Paul V. Fernicola & Associates for Allenhurst/Loch Arbour, Surfrider Foundation, Jersey Shore Chapter for Asbury Park.  In-kind support is provided by Wakefern ShopRite.

New in 2012...Consider Taking your Beach Sweeping to the Next Level!

Collect donations for your volunteer efforts and raise funds for COA's ocean protection work.  Raise $100 and receive Clean Ocean Action's popular ChicoBag made from recycled plastic bottles.  Raise $200 and receive an organic cotton 2012 Beach Sweeps tee shirt.  Teams can join the effort at http://www.crowdrise.com/BeachSweeps.

“Collecting donations from friends and family seems like a great way to raise awareness and get people more excited about the event and helping our environment,” commented Bay Head Beach Captain Shelley Kirk regarding COA’s new fundraising initiative.

COA’s Beach Sweeps first started in 1985 at Sandy Hook with 75 volunteers.  Since then, over 90,000 citizens, the small and the tall, removed over 4.5 million pieces of trash.

Monmouth County Locations:

Aberdeen.......................... Fisherman’s Parking lot at Cliffwood Beach

Allenhurst/Loch Arbour..................... Euclid Ave. Beach –Sponsored by Paul V.Fernicola & Associates, LLC

Asbury Park #1................ Convention Hall –Sponsored by Monmouth County Assoc.of Realtors

Asbury Park #2................ North Beach – Sponsored by Surfrider Foundation,Jersey Shore Chapter

Atlantic Highlands........... Harbor parking lot on First Ave.

Avon................................. Pavilion at Norwood and Ocean Avenues

Belmar #1......................... Belmar Fishing Club,1st Ave. – Sponsored by Bloomberg

Belmar #2......................... 16th Ave. Beach –Sponsored by New Jersey Natural Gas

Bradley Beach.................. Gazebo at 5th and Ocean Ave.

Deal.................................. Phillips Ave. Beach

Highlands #1....................Popamora Point on Shore Dr.

Highlands #2.................... Snug Harbor Ave. Beach;behind Community Center

Keansburg........................ Laurel and Beachway Avenues

Keyport............................. Cedar Street Park; First Street at waterfront

Long Branch..................... Pier Village; public access at Melrose Terrace and Ocean Ave.

Middletown Twp #1......... Leonardo Public BeachNorth

Middletown Twp #2......... Leonardo Public Beach South at Beach Ave.

Middletown Twp #3......... Ideal Beach at Ocean Ave.and Bayside Pkwy.

Middletown Twp #4......... Bayshore Waterfront Park at Fishing Pier

Monmouth Beach ............ Bathing Pavilion at 29 Ocean Ave.

Ocean Grove.....................Main Street Beach; Flag Pole

Red Bank..........................Meet at end of Chapin Ave.

Sandy Hook ..................... Sea Gull’s Nest Restaurant; Parking Lot D – Sponsored by Brookdale Community College and Enterprise Rent-A-Car

Sea Bright #1................... Ferguson Beach, north of Rumson/Sea Bright Bridge

Sea Bright #2...................Gaiter’s Restaurant Oceanside

Sea Bright #3...................Fairbanks Motel Oceanside

Sea Bright #4................... Public Beach

Sea Girt............................ Boardwalk at Beacon Blvd.

Spring Lake...................... South End Pavilion at Atlantic & Ocean Ave.

Union Beach..................... Florence Ave at Front St.