One of our goals is to eventually put ourselves out of the beach cleanup business, and one day not find any litter when we go to the beach. Litter onshore can impact wildlife and people, and if it washes offshore it can impact marine life (e.g., such as the sei whale that ingested a piece of a DVD case or a sea turtle with a straw in its nostril).
If you like walking the beach, a great way to help marine life is by picking up litter. And if you want to help even more, join our Adopt a Beach program!
Our Adopt-a-Beach groups “adopt” their own beach and agree to clean it at least once per month for a year. At cleanups, they’ll not only pick up litter, but they use our data cards to record their findings and contribute to our long-term research on marine pollution. We have several beaches available for adoption right now, including beaches in York, ME, Rye, Hampton, and Seabrook, NH and Salisbury Beach, MA. To get started, read our Adopt-a-Beach handbook and then send in our Adopt-a-Beach application.
If you want a less structured experience, we’re also happy to send you data cards that you can use to record litter while you’re taking a walk on any beach, any time. Just send us an email – we’d love to know what you find on the beach. We also happily arrange cleanups for groups.
Why collect data?
We use our cleanup data to figure out where the problem areas are and develop effective solutions and educational programs. Our information has been used by towns and organizations to justify increasing the number of cigarette receptacles at area beaches or discuss smoking bans, determine the need for a bag ban or leash laws, and in local schools to teach students about their impact on the environment.
Our next public beach cleanup is Saturday, February 11 at Jenness Beach in Rye. Hope to see you there!
Image: Robyn Sealock and friends at Bass Beach in Rye, NH, where they picked up 31 pounds of litter on January 21, 2017. Robyn has been cleaning Bass Beach regularly since 2006. From left: Darren Sealock, Denise Corriveau, Stephanie Burrows, David Gamel, Lori Kent, Robyn Sealock, Frank Steinman and Andy Mamczak