COASTSWEEP is the Bay State’s annual volunteer beach cleanup organized by the Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management (CZM). Since 1987, thousands of volunteers have removed hundreds of tons of debris from the state’s coastline and waterways. For examples of the people that make COASTSWEEP a success, see the Volunteers in Action web page.
With more than 1,500 miles of shoreline to cover, we need your help! You can participate as a:
All cleanups are unique and can range in size from a few volunteers to more than 200 at some locations. So whatever time you have to give, you can find a COASTSWEEP opportunity that is right for you.
Cleanup coordinators organize a cleanup at a local beach, bay, estuary, pond, lake, marsh, seafloor, riverbank, or even an underwater site (certified divers only, please). In addition to choosing a site, the cleanup coordinators also determine the date, time, and duration of the cleanup and handle all local logistics.
Cleanups can be scheduled for any day throughout September and October, and CZM will work with you to make sure you have all of the necessary assistance and supplies for a safe and successful cleanup. Garbage bags, gloves, pencils, data cards, and other cleanup supplies are provided for free and are sent directly to you.
As a cleanup coordinator, you can put together your own team consisting of family members, students, classmates, co-workers, or any other people you may wish to invite. If you are organizing a public cleanup, CZM can help you recruit volunteers.
CZM can also help you solicit donations from within your local community—such as food and prizes for volunteers—and can assist with the logistics of your event, including how to get appropriate permits, get liability waivers signed, and properly dispose of the trash your team collects.
You can also volunteer at an existing cleanup. As a volunteer, you will remove trash and debris from the designated cleanup site and record the types and quantities of materials you find. This data will be used to better understand what types of materials are littering the beaches all over the world. To volunteer, see the Cleanup List page, select a public cleanup, and contact the cleanup coordinator to let him/her know you are coming.
COASTSWEEP relies on the support of sponsors to help make the program a great success. Donations—such as potential prizes, printing services, gloves, and other cleanup supplies—help stock the cleanup efforts and show appreciation for all of the hard work done by the volunteers and cleanup coordinators. See the Sponsors page for information about COASTSWEEP sponsorship opportunities.