Each September through November, volunteers participate in COASTSWEEP, a state-wide coastal cleanup of marine debris. Sponsored by MassCZM in coordination with the Ocean Conservatory’s International Coastal Cleanup, individuals, families, organizations and companies collect and catalogue the waste defiling our beaches and waterways, identify the sources of the debris, and act to stop ocean dumping. Our clients spend billions to build homes and businesses and to recreate in the coastal zone that is under constant attack from trash, primarily from land-based sources (washed out to sea by rivers, streams and storm drains). Plastics pose the greatest risk to marine wildlife (seabirds and turtles). Marine debris damages the health and safety, economics, and aesthetics of those who live, work and play along Massachusetts’ 1,500 miles of coastline.
We shouldn’t wait for the islands of ocean garbage to landfall; or for syringes, feces and nasty floatables to wash up on our beaches (as happened in Quincy prompting the cleanup of Boston Harbor). We encourage our clients, consultants and friends to join in an important opportunity to make a difference by cleaning up fishing nets, lines, traps and buoys, plastic bags, and consumer products that desecrate our marine environment. To learn more about eye-opening marine debris statistics and oddities, cleanup events, and organizing, joining or sponsoring a team, go to MassCZM’s COASTSWEEP site.
Embrace your stewardship!