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Coastsweep Is Coming!
Contact: Anne Donovan
For the ninth year in a row, COASTSWEEP volunteers are preparing to clean up trash and other marine debris left on Massachusetts beaches. Over 5,000 volunteers are expected to turn out to remove hundreds of thousands of pieces of debris along almost 200 miles of coastline.
COASTSWEEP cleanups, which are coordinated by Massachusetts Coastal Zone Management and organized by local volunteers, will be held at more than 80 locations throughout the state, and will get underway Saturday, September 21, at Revere Beach in a cleanup organized by ROCA Revere, a local youth league. This cleanup will feature free t- shirts, provided by BankBoston, and free ice cream from the WBOS 92.9 FM van.
"Marine debris is more than an eyesore," said Environmental Affairs Secretary Trudy Coxe. "Animals can be killed or injured when they become entangled in pieces of marine debris, such as fishing line and six-pack holders, or when they swallow plastic bags, balloons, and other items that they mistake for food. People are injured when they step on broken glass or rusty metal on the beach or in the water. COASTSWEEP, therefore, makes Massachusetts beaches both safer and more beautiful."
Although most of the COASTSWEEP cleanups are scheduled for September 21 (the international beach cleanup date), a few cleanups are scheduled on other dates throughout September and October. For more information on how to volunteer for a COASTSWEEP cleanup, please call the MCZM COASTSWEEP line at (617) 727-9530, ext. 420.
COASTSWEEP relies on volunteers and sponsors for its success. Each cleanup is organized by a dedicated local coordinator who spends hours gathering supplies, publicizing the event, and making sure that the cleanup occurs without a hitch. In addition, supplies for the cleanup are donated by state and national sponsors. For the first year, BankBoston has become a major sponsor, providing over 1,000 t-shirts for cleanups of Boston-area beaches. Hundreds of BankBoston employees are also expected to help with cleanups throughout the state.
"BankBoston is proud to be a participating sponsor of COASTSWEEP '96 and to join with thousands of Bay State residents in preserving and restoring our state's beaches and waterways," expressed Chad Gifford, CEO of BankBoston Corporation. "This is the world's largest volunteer, data-gathering effort devoted to conservation of the marine environment, and as we prepare to enter the next century, it must remain our top priority."
WBOS 92.9 FM is the media sponsor for COASTSWEEP '96. In addition, Massachusetts Coastal Zone Management provides COASTSWEEP posters, flyers, and buttons, and the Urban Harbors Institute of the University of Massachusetts/Boston helps to publicize the cleanups. The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Management and the Metropolitan District Committee also help coordinate cleanups at their beaches. The Center for Marine Conservation, a nation-wide sponsor of beach cleanups, provides data cards and other supplies for volunteers to collect data on the type of debris found.
Other sponsors of COASTSWEEP '96 include New England Medical Center, which provides latex gloves for the volunteers to wear and the New England Aquarium and the Museum of Fine Arts-Boston, which provide passes to be raffled as prizes at each cleanup.
COASTSWEEP is also part of an International Beach Cleanup Program sponsored by
the Center for Marine Conservation in Washington, DC. Thirty-four U.S. states and territories
and more than 30 nations participate worldwide. The data collected during the International
Beach Cleanup is sent to the Center for Marine Conservation, where it is entered into a
massive marine debris data base. This information is used to identify the sources of marine
debris to help prevent the problem in the future.