The coastal community of Belmar, New Jersey, is one of more than 60 locations where volunteers will join forces for the 35th annual Clean Ocean Action Spring Beach Sweeps on October 24, 2020. The Clean Ocean Action has implemented COVID-19 guidelines and social distancing protocols for the shoreline cleanup to ensure a safe experience for everyone involved.
In addition to Belmar, nearby Jersey Shore towns involved in the cleanup effort include Asbury Park, Avon-by-the-Sea, Bradley Beach, Manasquan, Ocean Grove, Sea Girt, and Spring Lake. The event takes place from 9:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at all beach sweep sites statewide.
The spring 2020 Beach Sweeps were cancelled due to the pandemic, but during the previous Beach Sweeps in fall 2019, more than 200 people participated on Belmar beach at 3rd and 16th Avenues. Volunteers included students and scout troops from Jackson, Freehold, Howell, and Tinton Falls, New Jersey — and even a busload of high schoolers from Pennsbury School District in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. RELATED: Fresh Catch With The Jersey Shore Lobster Brothers
Belmar Beach Sweeps COVID-19 Guidelines
This is a family-friendly event and a great community service project for work or school. This year, in accordance with state and CDC COVID-19 guidelines, all volunteers MUST pre-register for the event on the Clean Ocean Action website and sign an electronic waiver. You will be asked to show your confirmation email upon your arrival at the beach cleanup site. Those who have not pre-registered will need to register and sign the waiver via their smartphone the day of the event. Volunteers may participate as individuals or in small groups of up to three people. Face coverings are required for all participants. Bring gloves and wear shoes or boots that are sturdy enough for walking in the sand. Refreshments will not be provided this year, so bring your own snacks and water. The Clean Ocean Action is also encouraging volunteers to bring their own buckets for trash collection to minimize the use of plastic bags. Read the full list of Clean Ocean Action COVID-19 guidelines for the fall Beach Sweeps.
Register now for the October 24 event.
Making A Difference
According to the Clean Ocean Action (COA), over 144,000 volunteers have eliminated over 7.2 million pieces of trash from New Jersey coastlines and waterways since the inception of this pollution-prevention program in 1985.
During the COA’s 2019 beach sweeps in April and October, 10,724 volunteers joined the effort — an all-time high. They collected and disposed of nearly 500,000 total items across all cleanup sites. The top 12 pollutants (COA's "dirty dozen") found were:
Plastic pieces, 95,693 pieces
Plastic caps and lids, 67,011 pieces
Food bags and candy wrappers, 50,270 pieces
Plastic straws and stirrers, 35,124 pieces
Cigarette filters, 27,751 pieces
Plastic foam, 25,630 pieces
Broken glass, 15,399 pieces
Plastic beverage bottles, 13,908 pieces
Cigar tips, 10,703 pieces
Plastic bags, 9,724
Lumber, 8,698 pieces
Other plastic items, 8,602 pieces
Of note, in 2019, the COA reported a decrease in the following types of marine pollution: plastic bags, balloons, straws, and plastic beverage bottles. However, increases were seen in the number of snack bags and candy wrappers, cigarette filters, plastic cigar tips, foam takeout containers, plastic toys and pieces, and plastic bottle caps and rings. Read more in the COA's 2019 Beach Sweeps annual report.
In an effort to prevent ocean pollution, Belmar enacted a ban on single-use plastic bags, which took effect May 1, 2019. Belmar was also first shore town to prohibit smoking on the beach, which is now banned on every beach in New Jersey. RELATED: Protecting Endangered Coastal Birds On Belmar Beach
Live Like A Local: Rent A Belmar Beach House
Day trips down the shore are fun, but it's even better to rent a beach house for the week to experience everything wonderful about the Belmar area. For couples, solo adults and small families, the two-bedroom Blue Hydrangea Cottage rental in Belmar, New Jersey, is the perfect getaway place. The home sleeps up to four people and is consistently rated five stars for comfort, cleanliness, amenities, location, and homelike decor. Learn more at www.vacationinbelmar.com. Weekly summer rentals at the Jersey Shore. Rent directly from the owner and save.
Story and photos © copyright by Christine Cardellino, owner of www.vacationinbelmar.com and publisher of the award-winning Belmar Beachcomber Blog, a travel and tourism guide for the Belmar region of the Jersey Shore. Do not copy any content (including images) without our permission. All rights reserved.