Why do we do cleanups?
Litter on the beach such as cigarettes, food wrappers, straws and bottle caps can affect marine life, who accidentally swallow them, or feed it to their young. Balloons, an item frequently found at our cleanups, can be eaten by whales and sea turtles, where they can clog the animal’s digestive tracts, making it impossible for them to eat normally. Fishing line and rope, found in high numbers at our cleanups each year, can entangle marine life, and also harm humans. We’ve often found fishing lures and hooks attached to this line on the beach – imagine stepping on this while you’re out for a stroll!
Check out litter sighted offshore from whale watch boats, along with whale sightings, to see how whales can interact with litter on a daily basis:
How Can I Help? Join a Beach Cleanup!
Beach cleanups are a great way to get involved in protecting the marine environment, and a great way to get exercise! On our beach cleanups, we spend 1-2 hours collecting trash off a local beach, and recording our findings – so you also get to contribute to our long-term study on marine pollution. Our cleanups include a short presentation on our research efforts and ways you can help protect the marine environment. We’ll also weigh our trash at the end. It’s a great way for kids to learn, too!
We do cleanups every month (click here for schedule), and can always use volunteers! This is a great activity for individuals, families and large or small groups.
If you can’t join one of our scheduled cleanups, we will schedule a special cleanup for groups of 10 or more.
If there’s a beach near you that needs help, please let us know and we’ll try to add it to our cleanup list.
Cleaning beaches can help people, animals and our tourism industry (and thus, the economy).
We provide all supplies, including bags, non-latex gloves, and data cards. Volunteers are encouraged to wear work gloves to minimize our use of disposable gloves, and bring a travel mug for beverages.
We suggest participants dress in layers and wear sturdy, close-toed shoes for safety.
Cleanups are conducted rain or shine. If the weather looks iffy, check this page or call our office at 603-431-0260 and we’ll leave a message if the cleanup is postponed.
How You Can Prevent Marine Debris
If you’re picnicking at a beach or on a boat, make sure you keep control of your trash and don’t let it blow around.
It’s not fun to pick up after others, but try to pick up a few pieces of trash that others have left behind, resulting in a cleaner area for all of us. Maybe someone will see you and get the hint!
Help educate smokers on the amount of cigarette butts that are around and the fact that it takes a minimum of one year for a cigarette butt to break down. If every smoker threw even one less butt on the ground every day, our beaches and sidewalks would be a lot cleaner!
If you fish or go boating, do not throw fishing line overboard. Visit our web site at www.nhmarinedebris.org for locations of our fishing line recycling bins or contact us for more information on recycling your fishing line. Monofilament can take 600 years to break down!