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Most of the top things found  in our beach clean up were plastic items. This got me thinking: While plastic items are super convenience and make our lives easier, they do have some repercussions you may not think of every day while you are using them. Unlike paper, wood, and organic matter, plastic never really biodegrades. What is does do, is slowly break down into tiny pieces, through sunlight decomposition called photodegradation.

” Of course, plastic buried in a landfill rarely sees the light of day. But in the ocean, which is where a lot of discarded grocery bags, soft drink bottles and six-pack rings end up, plastic is bathed in as much light as water. In 2009, researchers from Nihon University in Chiba, Japan, found that plastic in warm ocean water can degrade in as little as a year. This doesn’t sound so bad until you realize those small bits of plastic are toxic chemicals such as bisphenol A (BPA) and PS oligomer. These end up in the guts of animals or wash up on shorelines, where humans are most likely to come into direct contact with the toxins.” http://science.howstuffworks.com/science-vs-myth/everyday-myths/how-long-does-it-take-for-plastics-to-biodegrade.htm

These tiny plastic pieces also cause animals to slowly starve to death- the pieces fill up their bellies and are unable to be digested. So not only do the plastic pieces kill animals, but it can poison some of the animals we eat!

You can make a difference, even just by making small choices like paper bags in the grocery store (most stores ask, or offer you options) or choosing items in the grocery store packaged in cardboard or paper instead of plastic. (pick up your OJ in a carton, instead of plastic jug!) I challenge you to make a small change today- you will feel good for trying to help!

Fall 2015 Clean Ocean Action Beach Clean up results!

Poplar Avenue in Wildwood had a great turnout, 81 volunteers collected 56 bags of trash and recyclables on the beautiful sunny day that Oct 24th turned out to be!
The top 5 categories found were:

Plastic Pieces 305

Plastic Caps and lids 249

Nails 167

Cigar tips 154

Plastic food and candy wrappers 153

With the 2 close runners up:
Cigarette filters 146

Cardboard 147

The oddest things found were part of a car bumper, a doll head and a sea horse pool toy.

Of 92 different categories of trash, 89 were found.

Big thanks to all of our volunteers and locals, including Wildwood High and Elementary School, ACCC clubs, Wildwood Catholic and Henderson High School groups.

Clean Ocean Action is doing their awesome thing again, cleaning up the coast from SJ to NY.

Wanna join in? Bring a pair of gloves and a friend, and come out to any location you like to help clean up the beaches and keep our marine life safe and happy!
Check out the poster here, and if you have a big group you can always register. Just in case you want to make sure we are making a difference, check out my past blog posts for what Poplar Ave has done, and the report to see what together we have all done together!

CAPE MAY COUNTY LOCATIONS  

  • Avalon – 32nd St. South (Uncle Bill’s Cake & Steak House: 3189 Dune Drive, Avalon, NJ 08202 – meeting location will be south of this restaurant closer to the beach on the ocean side.
  • Cape May – 
    • Nature Center of Cape May (1600 Delaware Avenue, Cape May, NJ 08204)
    • 2nd Avenue Beach (Jetty Motel: 2nd Beach Ave, Cape May, NJ 08204)
  • Del Haven – Sunray Beach (meeting at Sunray Beach- at the end of N. Delaware Ave, and follow the path to the beach)
  • North Wildwood – 15th Avenue at Beach Patrol Building (Lifeguard Building: 15th Avenue, North Wildwood, NJ 08260)
  • Ocean City
    • Music Pier – 825 Boardwalk, Ocean City, NJ 08226
  • Sea Isle City – John F. Kennedy Boulevard Beach *Cancelled for Fall 2015*
  • Stone Harbor – 96th Street Beach (Stone Harbor Womens Civic Club- 96th Street, Stone Harbor, NJ 08247)
  • Wildwood – Poplar Avenue Beach (Groff’s Restaurant – 423 E. Magnolia Avenue, Wildwood, NJ 08260)
  • Wildwood Crest – Centennial Park (E. Fern Avenue and Ocean Avenue) *this event will take place on September 19th from 9 -12 
  • Villas – Village Rd. and Bay Drive (meet at the dead end by the beach access)

The results are in!

We had a cloudy, cool spring day on Poplar Avenue in Wildwood, but that didn’t stop 80+ volunteers from coming out and collecting 79 bags from the Wildwood beaches- 53 trash and 26 recyclables.

Top 5 items found:

224 cigarette filters

223 plastic caps/lids

213 plastic pieces

203 nails

161 plastic shopping bags

Runners up:

134 Lumber pieces

141 Metal bottle caps

105 Plastic food/candy wrappers

Of over 90 different types of trash listed on our data cards, we found over 80.

Most usual things found were a full unopened can of beer, several shoes, and firecrackers.

We had volunteers from Comcast, Wildwood Middle and High School, Wildwood Catholic High School, and other locals.

Thank you everyone for coming out! Thanks to your efforts the beaches are clean for animals, families, and fun!

Spring is finally here! The water is warming up, the daffodils are blooming, and we can all see our front lawns instead of an expanse of snow :)

Time to get outside! I know I have lots of yard work to do, however, on Saturday April 25, set aside your morning from 9am to noon for Clean Ocean Action’s Spring Beach Sweep!

As usual I will be at Poplar Avenue in Wildwood NJ, but here is a list of other sites:

ATLANTIC COUNTY LOCATIONS           

  • Atlantic City – Missouri Avenue Beach (2201 Boardwalk, Atlantic City, NJ   08401)
  • Oceanville – Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge (800 Great Creek Rd. Oceanville, NJ 08231) Cleanup will take place on April 18th
  • Longport – 33rd and Atlantic Avenue Beach (Library: 2305 Atlantic Ave. Longport, NJ 08403
  • Margate – Granville Avenue Beach (Library: 8100 Atlantic Ave. Margate City, NJ 08402
  • Ventnor City – Newport Avenue Beach (Community Building: 6500 Atlantic Ave, Ventor City, NJ 08406
  • Brigantine – 17th St. Beach, South (Brigantine Beach Patrol, 1700 17th Street, Brigantine, NJ 08203
  • Egg Harbor Township – Longport Dog/Malibu Beach

CAPE MAY COUNTY LOCATIONS

  • Avalon – 32nd St. South (Uncle Bill’s Cake & Steak House: 3189 Dune Drive, Avalon, NJ 08202 – meeting location will be south of this restaurant closer to the beach on the ocean side.
  • Cape May – 
    • Nature Center of Cape May (1600 Delaware Avenue, Cape May, NJ 08204)
    • 2nd Avenue Beach (Jetty Motel: 2nd Beach Ave, Cape May, NJ 08204)
  • Lower Township  – Lincoln Blvd. and Beach Dr., North Cape May, NJ
  • Del Haven – Sunray Beach (meeting at Sunray Beach- at the end of N. Delaware Ave, and follow the path to the beach)
  • North Wildwood – 15th Avenue at Beach Patrol Building (Lifeguard Building: 15th Avenue, North Wildwood, NJ 08260)
  • Ocean City
    • Music Pier – 9th & Boardwalk (Moorlyn Terrace, NJ 08226)
    • 58th Street Pavilion
  • Sea Isle City – John F. Kennedy Boulevard Beach
  • Stone Harbor – 96th Street Beach (Stone Harbor Womens Civic Club- 96th Street, Stone Harbor, NJ 08247)
  • Wildwood – Poplar Avenue Beach (look for the giant red hydrant statue on the sand right off the boardwalk)
  • Wildwood Crest – Centennial Park (Atlantic and Fern)

Hope to see you all out there!

On Saturday October 25th, over 100 people came out to Poplar Avenue in Wildwood. Together they clean up 58 bags of trash and recyclables! View the slideshow of COA FALL 2014 photos here!

There were families and kids that came from Wildwood High and Middle Schools, Henderson High School from PA, Pack 65 Boyscouts, and lots of locals and visitors came out as well.

The data cards we record what we find on, have 99 categories of trash. Together, we found 90 different types of trash!

The top 10 found were:

Plastic caps and lids 431

Plastic pieces 376

Plastic food/candy wrappers 330

Cigarette filters 322

Straws 191

Plastic bottles 151

Uncategorized plastic like fireworks/pens etc 140

Foam pieces 118

Plastic cups 100

Glass pieces 98

The weird things found were: a skimboard, a swinging seat, and a bag full of arcade tickets.

If you notice, many of the things we found the most of were plastic. Check out this chart of how long trash takes to degrade in the ocean:

decompose-chart

And just in case you need a reminder: This is why I clean up the beach! Why do you?

Bjexx8_CcAAKoeK

rtemagicc_new_logo_jpg

Clean Ocean Action is hosting it’s fall beach clean up soon- October 25th 9:00am to noon!

The list of Cape May County sites are :

CAPE MAY COUNTY LOCATIONS

  • Avalon – 32nd St. South
  • Cape May – 
    • Nature Center of Cape May (1600 Delaware Avenue)
    • 2nd Avenue Beach
  • Del Haven – Sunray Beach
  • North Wildwood – 15th Avenue at Beach Patrol Building
  • Ocean City
    • Music Pier – 9th & Boardwalk (Moorlyn Terrace, NJ 08226)
    • 58th Street Pavilion
  • Sea Isle City – John F. Kennedy Boulevard Beach *Sweep will take place on September 27, 2014*
  • Stone Harbor – 96th Street Beach
  • Wildwood – Poplar Avenue Beach
  • Wildwood Crest – Centennial Park (Atlantic and Fern) *cannot participate for Fall 2014, but will in Spring 2015*

You can pre-register for a whichever site you prefer, or just show up!

As usual, it is rain or shine (hopefully closer to shine) and it is best to bring gloves and some friends with you!

Show up when you can, leave when you have to, but enjoy a day outside doing something constructive, positive for the environment and neighborhood, and satisfying!
A lot of people need community service hours, for clubs, societies, schools,sports,church, or just for a sense of pride in the accomplishments of oneself :) . A beach clean up is a great way to help the community, and make a positive impact on your environment!

When you arrive at your chosen beach site, see whoever is in charge for bags and data cards, that capture what kinds and how much trash is found.
The data from these cards are tallied with the data from all of the other beach clean ups going on up and down the NJ coast.

See a report from last year, to put concrete numbers to just how much trash is on our beaches! Trust me…it will help you feel good about carrying your trash home with you, or walking the extra distance to put your trash in a can.

Screen Shot 2014-09-26 at 12.17.39 PMSmoker? In 2013 there were 32,303 filters found.

Screen Shot 2014-09-26 at 12.19.25 PMLove snacks? There were 30,944 candy wrappers/snack bags found.

Screen Shot 2014-09-26 at 12.19.42 PMBuy water bottles or cases of soda? There were 32,642 plastic caps/lids found, and 39,484 pieces of plastic found.

WOW.

I don’t know about you, but those numbers make me happy to do something as easy as recycle, and make sure my trash from picnics and outings make it to a trash can instead of the ground!

So come on out, and help keep our beaches happy and healthy!

Picture 013photo by J.West (jessica westerland mumford)

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