PHOTO:  The Middletown High School South Junior Varsity Softball team were organized by Jess Sigfreid.  The group of sophmores hopes to set up a environmental club at their school next year.

ATLANTIC HIGHLANDS, NJ - With each tide, new trash and debris wash onto the shores and into tidal waterways. Twice a year, teams of volunteers throughout the Jersey Shore collect tires, plastic bags, cigarette butts and other consumer cast offs. Clean Ocean Action held its 31st Annual Beach Sweep on Saturday, April 30, 2016.

In Atlantic Highlands, nearly 50 people turned out on a sunny Saturday morning to volunteer for the local Beach Sweep sponsored by Clean Ocean Action.

PHOTO: Atlantic Highlands Mayor Rhonda "Randi" Le Grice signed in volunteers at the waterfront.

PHOTO: Sue Bruno, Middletown, said she saw a flyer at On the Deck Restaurant at the harbor and decided she wanted to be involved.  She has past experience as a volunteer working to clean Barnegat Bay.

Ron Dente,Hazlet, said he was prompted to get involved during a moment of reflection.  He says, "I decided I was going to start doing what I think about, 7 years ago."   It snowballed into his involvment with the Bayshore Water Conservancy, NY/NJ Baykeeper, and the Clean Water Action beach sweeps.

Over 3, 500 volunteers, at several sites around the state, removed tons of debris that litter New Jersey beaches and endangers marine life.

PHOTO: Ron Dente - Hazlet

According to Clean Ocean Action, selected totals from the Sandy Hook site include: 7,594 plastic pieces, 5,799 food/candy wrappers, 5,284 caps/lids, 2,426 straws/stirrers and 1,539 cigarette filters.

Some of the "ridiculous" items cataloged on April 30 in Sandy Hook included: CD of Christmas songs, electrical plug, screw driver, gasoline can, candle wax, medical bracelets, ball of twine and a golf ball.

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