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The premier publications for high-quality, hyperlocal news and announcements in Monmouth County, New Jersey

May 23, 2018

COA Releases 2017 Beach Sweeps Report

By Lori Draz


On April 11 at the press conference in Sandy Hook overlooking the ocean, Clean Ocean Action (COA) released the 2017 Beach Sweeps Report which included this list of the ‘Dirty Dozen” most commonly collected items and the ‘Roster of the Ridiculous’ most outrageous finds. The report listed the breakdown of the total 373,686 pieces of marine debris collected by 7,416 volunteers at last year’s sweep.

The Beach Sweeps is New Jersey’s largest volunteer-driven, citizen science and environmental event with over 60 site locations in 2017.

The data from the documented collected debris creates is used to fight for better anti-litter programs and educate people about the harm marine debris causes to the economy and wildlife.

Once again, the majority of the debris was disposable plastic – 84.46% of the total waste found. The report showed a significant increase of plastic pieces, caps and lids, straws, stirrers, and foam pieces. Decreases were seen in diapers, lumber pieces, foam building materials, other foam plastic and glass beverage bottles. Indicators of raw sewage discharges, tampons and condoms, were higher by 16 percent and 13 percent, respectively.

Somewhat troubling was the 4,139 balloons collected during the beach sweeps, despite efforts to educate the public not to release balloons. The number nearly tied with the highest number ever recorded, which was 4,159.

Since 1985, Beach Sweepers have collected 6,288,576 items. The items were collected and tallied by a total of 123,424 volunteers.

“ShopRite is pleased with our 15+ year partnership with Clean Ocean Action (COA). As an environmentally and community-oriented business, ShopRite respects when an organization can bring about effective change by involving more and more community volunteers each year. The COA Beach Sweeps event brings about the improvement of an important ecological habitat, and when groups of like-minded people come together to solve a problem or improve their environment, they can make a difference and accomplish what an individual could not do alone!” said Suzanne Forbes, Corporate Communications, Environmental Affairs Administrator, Wakefern Food Corporation.