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Passing down a cleaner world

Volunteers collect debris, data on Bradley Beach

Created date

May 24th, 2011

Just like any normal summer day, scores of people are scattered throughout New Jersey s Bradley Beach. But this isn t a normal summer day, and these people aren t sunbathing. This past April 30, nearly 20 volunteers from Seabrook, an Erickson Living community in nearby Tinton Falls, participated in the twice yearly beach cleanup, a project by Clean Ocean Action (

Debris and data collection

Volunteers for the project not only clean littered beaches but also collect data and identify sources of pollution. Clean Ocean Action coordinates beach cleanup days along the New York and New Jersey coast lines. Ann Marie Matthews, volunteer program coordinator for Seabrook, organizes volunteers from the community to participate. It s a great way for everyone residents and staff members to volunteer together and do something good for our community, Matthews says. We re trending [looking to see if there s a trend in the different types of trash] the amount of garbage that washes up on the beach so the government can identify changes or increases in pollution. According to Clean Ocean Action s website, the data is presented in annual reports and used to advance federal, state, and local programs to reduce litter.

Responsible citizens

Lou and Margot Rivera have participated in five beach sweeps, combined, over the past ten years. The couple moved to Seabrook in January 2010 and didn t miss a beat getting involved with local environmental events. As members of various environmental organizations, including Monmouth County Friends of Clearwater, Jersey Conservation Council, and the Sierra Club, the Riveras feel participating in cleanups is key for our future and our children s and grandchildren s future. We want to pass down a cleaner world, says Mr. Rivera. Speaking on behalf of his wife, who was traveling in Germany at the time of this interview, Mr. Rivera continues: We feel it s part of our responsibility as good citizens to do our part. We enjoy using the beaches and want to keep them clean. Clean Ocean Action provides trash bags, water, and snacks for the volunteers, along with a list of recyclables. Since 1985, Clean Ocean Action has collected debris and data. Today, it is one of the longest running cleanups of its kind in the world. The next beach cleanup will be Saturday, October 22, 2011. To participate call Ann Marie Matthews at 732-643-2000, ext. 5178.

Conduct your own beach cleanup But keep these tips in mind

What to wear Closed-toed, hard-soled shoes, such as sneakers Hat Sunscreen Gloves Layers (dress for the weather) What to bring Reacher (a long pole with a grabbing mechanism at the end) Trash bags Notepad to track your trash Bottled water List of recyclables Dos and Don ts Do clean up rain or shine Don t walk on dunes Do respect wildlife Don t lift anything too heavy Do stay away from large drums