Pitch In for the COASTSWEEP Cleanup on Plum Island
9:00 am–5:00 pm
Mass Audubon’s Joppa Flats Education Center and the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge announce that the COASTSWEEP 2017 cleanup for Plum Island, including the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge and Sandy Point State Reservation, will be held on Saturday, September 23, from 9:00 am–5:00 pm.
Participation in COASTSWEEP is free, for all ages, and will be held rain or shine. Participants do not need to preregister—you may show up at any time during the day.
David Larson, Science and Education Coordinator for Joppa Flats, is looking for 100+ volunteers of all ages willing to help clean up trash and debris from the roads, trails, and beaches. Those interested are encouraged to bring friends, family, teachers, or students. Check-in is at the Refuge’s parking lot #1, where supplies will be provided by Mass Audubon staff. People are advised to bring their own work gloves.
Along with cleaning the beaches, volunteers also help with data collection, keeping track of what they pick up. At the end of the cleanups, these data cards are sent to Ocean Conservancy in Washington, DC, where the information is entered into a massive database. The data are then used to analyze the local and international trends in marine debris and identify its sources in an effort to reduce the problem in the future.
COASTSWEEP is the annual state-wide coastal cleanup sponsored by the Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management (CZM) as part of the International Coastal Cleanup organized by the Ocean Conservancy.
In 2016, more than 2,500 volunteers cleaned 164 miles of coastline, river bank, marsh, seafloor, and lakeshore in Massachusetts, collecting almost 140,00 pounds of debris.