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‘Beach Sweeps’ Uncover Odd Debris [AUDIO]

Some bizarre items, and the usual roster of debris, were discovered when volunteers swept New Jersey’s beaches to highlight the pressing issue of coastal pollution.

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Another sweep is scheduled for Saturday, Apr. 26, from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., at more than 70 sites along the shore. Click here to register as a volunteer or captain.

During two “beach sweep” events in the spring and fall, more than 325,000 pieces of trash were tallied and removed from dozens of coastal communities.

2013 Dirty Dozen list - Clean Ocean Action
2013 Dirty Dozen list, compiled by Clean Ocean Action after two NJ beach sweeps (Townsquare Media photo)

Most items that earned a spot on the “2013 Dirty Dozen” list had been there before, such as cigarette filters, shopping bags, straws and candy wrappers.

Disposable plastics were responsible for most of the cleanup action, representing nearly 76 percent of the total waste found. Plastic pieces were the most commonly-collected items; close to 35,000 were discovered in April and October of last year.

Clean Ocean Action, which conducts the sweeps, noted the amount of lumber pieces found in 2013 was double the amount from a year prior, most likely due to Superstorm Sandy.

Volunteers also came across some inexplicable pieces of debris, such as the front panel of a car, bathroom tiles, a dog jaw skeleton with teeth, a hospital bed, shingles and a small ceramic turkey.

“In the future, we hope that the Beach Sweeps program must retire due to the lack of trash present on our shores,” said COA’s Catie Tobin.


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