CoastSweep volunteers pick up trash, debris on beaches

Photo via newenglandboating.com
Credit: newenglandboating.com

The Massachusetts Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs today announced the start of CoastSweep 2013, the state’s 26th annual volunteer beach cleanup. 

Since 1987, thousands of CoastSweep volunteers have removed hundreds of tons of marine debris such as trash, fishing line and other manmade items, and recorded what was collected. State environmental officials are asking for volunteers to help clean up the coast throughout September and October.

“I encourage all Commonwealth citizens to get involved by joining a scheduled cleanup or organizing their own at their favorite beach,” said environmental Secretary Richard Sullivan. “I would like to thank the thousands of hardworking and committed volunteers who have turned out for the last 25 CoastSweep cleanups for doing their part to keep our state’s beaches and coastlines clean.”

The cleanup is part of the International Coastal Cleanup organized by Ocean Conservancy in Washington, D.C. In addition to removing trash, CoastSweep volunteers record what they collect. According to organizers, the information is used to identify sources of debris globally and develop solutions for prevention.

“Since it began in 1987, CoastSweep has grown tremendously and I’m proud that we have been able to work with dedicated local volunteers to remove literally tons of trash from the shoreline,” said Coastal Zone Management director Bruce Carlisle.

“These efforts not only make our shoreline more beautiful, they help keep the coastal environment safe for humans and marine animals.”

State environmental experts said trash and other marine debris can directly harm sea life and humans, including sea birds and seals. The animals can be choked, starved or poisoned when they become entangled or mistake debris for food.

Sea turtles are particularly vulnerable and can die after swallowing clear plastic bags that they mistake for jellyfish, experts said, and beachgoers can injure themselves on glass, wood or metal while swimming or walking on the sand. Another threat is to boaters; vessels can become stranded when propellers are jammed with fishing line or cooling intakes are clogged with plastic.

Environmental officials said beachgoers should secure trash bins, recycle, refrain from littering, and bring reusable shopping bags, water bottles and coffee mugs.

The state offers a Coastal Pollution Remediation grant program that provides up to $400,000 to Massachusetts Coastal Watershed municipalities to assess and remediate stormwater pollution from paved surfaces as well as to design and construct commercial boat waste pumpout facilities.

Cleanups are held throughout September and October in Massachusetts coastal communities. To join a cleanup, or organize one, residents can visit the CoastSweep website or call (617) 626-1200.

Cleanup supplies such as bags, gloves, data cards and pencils are provided free of charge, and cleanups can be scheduled at your convenience.

Follow Morgan Rousseau on Twitter: @MetroMorgan
Follow Metro Boston on Twitter: @MetroBOS


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
International

Jews in eastern Ukraine ordered to register, Kerry…

Secretary of State John Kerry condemned reports that Jews in eastern Ukraine had been ordered to register with the authorities "or suffer the consequences."

National

Chelsea Clinton pregnant with first child

Chelsea Clinton is pregnant with her first child.

National

Divers struggle in search for South Korean ferry…

By Jungmin Jang and Narae KimMOKPO/JINDO, South Korea (Reuters) - Rescuers struggled with strong waves and murky waters on Thursday as they searched for hundreds…

National

New Hampshire moves to decriminalize adultery

For the first time in hundreds of years, it's about to be legal to cheat on your spouse in New Hampshire.

Television

Dick Wolf to bring fictionalized world of 'Law…

A&E has ordered a pilot called "D.O.A." from "Law and Order" mastermind Dick Wolf that will focus on real detectives reexamining cold cases. A trio…

Movies

Review: 'Transcendence' is not stupid but sometimes lacks…

The cyberthriller "Transcendence" explores artificial intelligence, nanotechnology and other ethical quandaries, but has too much ambition, if anything.

Television

Shane West talks WGN America's 'Salem'

The actor on history lessons, a new network and showing his butt.

Movies

Review: 'Fading Gigolo' finds few jokes in women…

John Turturro writes, directs and stars in "Fading Gigolo," in which he plays a prostitute whose pimp is Woody Allen. And there's still very few jokes.

NHL

Rangers draw first blood against Flyers in Game…

Brad Richards and Derek Stepan scored power-play goals 47 seconds apart to lead the Rangers to a 4-1 win.

NBA

Carmelo Anthony agonizing over Knicks future as season…

There’s still the cloud hanging over the franchise’s head as to the pending free-agent status of All-Star forward Carmelo Anthony.

NFL

Jets host players with eye toward NFL Draft

The Jets hosted a number of NFL Draft hopefuls for workouts on Thursday, with an eye toward some under-the-radar players.

NFL

Chris Johnson: I wanted to go to 'a…

Now that Chris Johnson is a Jet, the team has to figure out if one of the most explosive players in the NFL over the last half decade has anything…

Style

Light-up nail art syncs with phone

This Japanese technology syncs light-up nail art with your phone.

Wellbeing

Why is dance cardio taking off in NYC?

Instructors at some of the city's hottest classes explain why.

Travel

Earth Day travel in the Florida Keys

See why this eco-friendly destination deserves your attention.

Tech

Sorry, Facebook — FarmVille goes mobile with 'Country…

Zynga has released a version of the hit "FarmVille" tailored for smartphones and tablets in the hope of reaping a bumper crop of players.