Celebrate a Generation of Citizen Action at Clean Ocean Action’s Beach Sweeps!

Sandy Hook, NJ - Clean Ocean Action (COA) invites citizens and organizations to participate in the 25th Annual Spring Beach Sweeps on Saturday, April 24, 2010, at 69 sites along the New Jersey coast.  The Beach Sweeps begin at 9am and end at 12:30pm, rain or shine.

Clean Ocean Action Beach Sweeps is one of the longest running cleanup programs in the nation, and has resulted in the removal of nearly 4 million pieces of trash. More importantly, over 75,000 citizens, the small and the tall, have been educated about the harmful effects of litter and are motivated to make a difference. “The Beach Sweeps are an opportunity for citizens and visitors to give back to their local marine environment,” said Tavia Danch, COA’s Pollution Prevention Coordinator.

coa_beach_sweeps_sod_banks

“The Beach Sweeps is much more than picking up trash, volunteers are also instructed to record the quantity and types of debris they find,” stated Danch.  The information collected at the Sweeps helps identify pollution problems, aid legislators in enacting laws to protect our marine environment, and inform local and international efforts to combat marine pollution.

“Clean Ocean Action is proud to celebrate the dedication and hard work of thousands of volunteers during our Beach Sweeps 25th Anniversary. Some participants have been volunteering for generations, caring for the ocean from toddlers to teenagers. The goal of the statewide cleanup is to have naturally clean beaches and to no longer need these events,” said Cindy Zipf, COA’s Executive Director.

“Polluted runoff from recent storms and flooding has trashed beaches, spurring outrage from citizens across the region who recently visited the Jersey Shore to enjoy some fun in the sun. This response has increased cleanup participation and we hope to inspire volunteers to continue to make a difference at future Sweeps and efforts, including “Keep us Free from LNG” and Clean Ocean Zone campaigns,” added Zipf.

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.

Beach Captains will 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.” Organic cotton Beach Sweep t-shirts will be provided to volunteers on a first come-first serve basis.

A number of businesses partner with COA to sponsor the Beach Sweeps.  The Statewide Sponsors for the 2010 Beach Sweeps are Aveda, Bank of America, Comcast, and Verizon.  The South Jersey sponsor is Atlantic City Electric. Additional sponsorships include: Bayshore Recycling, Brook 35 & West, Monmouth County Realtors Association, New Jersey American Water, New Jersey Natural Gas, Patagonia, United Teletech Financial, and Wakefern ShopRite. Individual site sponsors include: Surfrider Foundation, Jersey Shore Chapter for Deal; NuStar Energy for Keansburg; Enterprise Rent-A-Car for Sandy Hook; Adventure Aquarium for Ventnor City; and Lower Cape May Regional Education Association for Wildwood Crest. In-kind support provided by Becton, Dickinson and Company, Clif Bar, IHOP Neptune & Keyport, and Wakefern ShopRite.

As a tribute to 25 years of Beach Sweeps, Captains, and Sweepers, COA has published the Journal of Citizen Action Against Beach Litter.  The Journal will highlight data and trends in ocean pollution and educate the public on ways to reduce ocean pollution.  The Journal is available online at www.CleanOceanAction.org.