Beach Clean-Up Yields Big Results

On Earth Day 2017, the Seacoast Science Center hosted its 9th annual Rescue Run for Marine Mammals, and also hosted its first beach clean-up of the season. Working in partnership with the Blue Ocean Society for Ocean Conservation, we invited Rescue Run participants to stay and help clean up the shoreline at Odiorne Point State Park.

Armed with reusable bags, gloves and tally sheets provided by Blue Ocean Society, more than 50 people fanned out along the shore to pick up trash, recyclables, pieces of lobster traps and more.  Within 90 minutes, our group had picked up 173 pounds of litter and more than 1,449 items!

Here are the litter totals:

Gloves – 3
Nets/bait bags – 14
Floats/buoys – 15
Fishing line – 5
Rope – 158
Condoms – 2
Beverage cans – 112
Glass bottles – 64
Balloons – 8
Six-pack rings – 1
Straws – 33
Dog waste piles – 6
Plastic bags – 207
Plastic beverage bottles – 67
Plastic bottles (food) – 13
Bottle caps – 84
Motor oil containers – 2
Cigarette butts – 157
Styrofoam pieces and Styrofoam cups – 157
Straps – open – 11

Other items of note included 92 pieces of plastic, 22 pieces of paper, plastic goggles, 4 golf balls, a diaper, 3 shoe soles, 2 Band-Aids, 1 Easter egg, an ear plug, a lighter, a bubble wand, a restaurant buzzer and 3 fishing poles. Volunteers from the Sheraton Portsmouth Hotel team even found sheets of plywood that had washed up in front of the Center!

Many of the items mentioned above can be hazardous to marine life through entanglement or ingestion. We’re very thankful that our volunteers could help remove these items from the beach before they washed into the ocean.

If you’d like to participate in the beach clean-up, please visit Blue Ocean Society’s website for a list of upcoming opportunities. You can also help by picking up any litter you find when you visit the beach or state park. Every little bit helps preserve the health of our ocean environment!

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