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tri district beach sweep 6photo: AHES Kindergarten students Britton Kozic and Owen and Jack Srikumpal help out at the Beach Sweep.

HIGHLANDS, NJ – Students and families from Atlantic Highlands Elementary School (AHES) and Highlands Elementary School (HES) joined Clean Ocean Action (COA) and community members from both towns in a Beach Sweep at Popamora Point Beach in Highlands on Earth Day, April 22, 2017.   

Volunteers worked together to pick up and categorize debris from the beach and enjoyed a picnic lunch following the cleanup.   COA’s Kathy Moyer served as Beach Captain and former HES student Olivia Fair served as Youth Co-Captain.   

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photo: Beach Sweep Co-Captain Olivia Fair with Zachary Kondracki

Tri-District Superintendent Dr. Susan Compton said “Projects like this partner so well with our schools’ Green Team initiatives and sustainability goals as well as create a sense of community in the Tri-District. I am so proud of our students for volunteering to keep our local beaches beautiful so that they can be enjoyed for years to come.”

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photo: HES Kindergarten student Layla Case

Highlands resident Cynthia Fair is Vice President of the HES Board of Education.  Ms. Fair’s daughter, Olivia, currently attends Henry Hudson Regional School and has been participating in COA beach sweeps for eight years.  Ms. Fair stated, “The Tri-District Schools of AHES, HES and HHRS are proud to support Clean Ocean Action Beach Sweeps and join the community efforts to keep our Jersey Shore Beaches a place for all to enjoy.  We are especially excited to assist with the categorization of the invasive items found along our bays and ocean so that this information can be used to educate the public.”

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photo: AHES BOE President Alyson Denzler and her daughter Makenzie

Atlantic Highlands Board of Education President Alyson Denzler participated in the Beach Sweep with her daughters Makenzie and Kathryn who both attend AHES.   Mrs. Denzler said, “I am so excited that our schools’ Green Teams have partnered with Clean Ocean Action to help keep our beaches clean and we hope to participate in more events like this in the future.  It is always rewarding to see our students working together for the betterment of our communities.” 

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photo:HES 1st grader Caden Fiel with his dad, Don Fiel

Clean Ocean Action is a leading national and regional voice working to protect waterways using science, law, research, education and citizen action.  COA’s mission is to improve the degraded water quality of the marine waters off the New Jersey/New York Coast. 

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photo: AHES student volunteers

COA’s Beach Sweeps are one of the longest running cleanups of its kind in the world. The program has grown from 75 volunteers at one site in 1985 to over 5,000 volunteers from the Raritan to Delaware Bays and along the ocean to clean beaches and waterways in 2016.   Beach sweep participants not only help to keep our beaches beautiful but also collect and record valuable data about debris, which is presented annually and used to advance federal, state and local programs to reduce litter.  To learn more about Clean Ocean Action and the Beach Sweep program, and to view to 2016 annual report, go to


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Allan Dean

Allan Dean is editor, publisher, and founder of the Atlantic Highlands Herald. Published since 1999 and selected in 2000 by the Borough of Atlantic Highlands as one of their official newspapers, making...