Thursday, November 3, 2011

Beach Cleanup at Scusset Beach - A huge success!

On October 29, 2011, NECWA teamed up with Captain John Whale Watching and Fishing Tours and the Department of Conservation and Recreation to cleanup Scusset Beach. This cleanup effort was part of COASTSWEEP, the Commonwealth’s annual coastal cleanup program that is organized by the Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management and the Urban Harbors Institute of the University of Massachusetts Boston. Last year, over 2,900 COASTSWEEP volunteers collected over 20,000 pounds of trash from beaches, marshes, rivers, ponds, and the seafloor.

At 9 am, eleven volunteers met at Scusset Beach, a beautiful beach located within the Scusset Beach State Reservation on Cape Cod Bay. Everyone was bundled in hats and gloves, as it was mostly cloudy with increasing winds. Equipped with trash bags, gloves and data sheets, volunteers ventured onto the beach in pairs or trios looking for a variety of marine debris. Each piece of trash or debris that was collected was logged into the data sheet and all data will be sent to Coastsweep.

Volunteers found several interesting debris items, including firework containers and many plastic sewer filter discs. The plastic sewer discs were likely carried many miles from New Hampshire, where a sewer plant accidently released thousands of filter discs earlier this year. By recording this information and categorizing all debris, we can learn what types of trash or debris are found most often and we can possibly think of ways to reduce specific types of marine debris.

We were once again delighted to work with John DeCosta from the Department of Conservation and Recreation. John drove a DEC 4 X 4 mini rover up and down the beach, transporting large pieces of debris or heavy bags filled by each volunteer team. We’d like to thank John for his time and for all of his help with this cleanup effort. His great sense of humor keep us all laughing and moving forward.

Thanks also to Ronnie Hunter from Captain John Boats. Ronnie was instrumental in helping set up and tear down our check in area and provided needed supplies for the collection of the debris. We couldn't have done this clean up activity without his support and the support of Captain John Boats.
After combing almost a mile of shoreline, we weighed all of the collected debris. Volunteers managed to cleanup 109 pounds of debris from Scusset Beach. Great job everyone! At the end of the cleanup, volunteers chatted and enjoyed a great lunch of sandwiches, chips and drinks.

On behalf of the New England Coastal Wildlife Alliance, Captain John Boats and the Department of Conservation and Recreation, we’d like to thank everyone for their time and efforts. It’s amazing to see what a small group can accomplish in just a couple of hours and we thank you for taking the time to cleanup one of our local beaches.

We look forward to seeing you all again next fall for another beach cleanup! Thanks again to everyone joined us this past Saturday and who helped clean up Scusset Beach!