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COASTSWEEP - Information for Cleanup Coordinators

Find out how to organize a cleanup at your favorite beach.

COASTSWEEP cleanup coordinators organize local cleanups with support from the Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management (CZM). As a cleanup coordinator, you will choose a location, publicize the event locally, receive supplies, give instructions and distribute materials to volunteers, oversee the cleanup, arrange for proper trash disposal, and collect and return data cards.

PLEASE NOTE: CZM’s top priority is to ensure the safety of COASTSWEEP volunteers. While we have begun ordering supplies and will be working with cleanup coordinators to schedule cleanups over the next couple of months, the final call on whether cleanups will occur depends on the status of the state’s COVID-19 reopening plan at cleanup time. We will keep all cleanup coordinators posted on this evolving situation.

See the information below for further details on how to conduct a successful cleanup.

For a full list of information on the COASTSWEEP website, see Overview and Index. And if you have any questions, feel free to email us at coastsweep@mass.gov or see COASTSWEEP Contact Information for a staff list, email addresses, and phone numbers.

Cleanup Coordinator Sign-Up Form

To volunteer as a cleanup coordinator, please email coastsweep@mass.gov with the date and location of your proposed cleanup. CZM will get back to you to let you know if there are any potential scheduling conflicts and work with you to resolve any issues. Once the date and place are set, you will fill out the following form and send it to coastsweep@mass.gov.

Coordination with Beach Manager

We recommend that cleanup coordinators also contact the manager of the cleanup site to make sure that he/she is aware of your efforts. The site manager may also be able to help with logistics, such as trash removal.

Cleanup Supplies

CZM provides all of the cleanup supplies free of charge, including:

  • Trash bags
  • Disposable gloves
  • Data cards (one per 2-3 volunteers)
  • Data summary sheet (one per cleanup)
  • Site cleanup report (one per cleanup)
  • Safety precaution sheet (one per cleanup)
  • Waiver/sign-in sheet (one per cleanup)
  • Pencils (one per 2-3 volunteers)
  • Self-addressed stamped envelope (to return data cards, summary sheet, and cleanup report)
  • Cleanup posters (one per cleanup)
  • Cleanup coordinator thank you gift

Materials are shipped by Federal Express or UPS to cleanup coordinators during the week before the cleanup date.

Sign-In Sheet/Waiver

Please have your volunteers read and sign the sign-in sheet/waiver you will receive with your supplies. (PDF copies of the sign-in sheets will be posted here later in the summer.) Please use the DCR version of the sign-in sheet for all cleanups held at Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) locations.

Safety Precautions

You will also receive a copy of the safety precautions in the mail with your supplies. Please explain the safety precautions to all volunteers. (A PDF copy will be posted here later in the summer.)

Cleanup Report

Please submit this report, which lists details such as the number of volunteers and bags of debris collected, as soon as possible after completion of your cleanup. Email to coastsweep@mass.gov. (You will receive a copy in the mail with your supplies.)

Sample Press Release

A generic press release will be posted later in the summer that you can customize and send to your local papers, community television stations, and any relevant groups that send out newsletters. Please feel free to contact us if you need any help with your publicity efforts. If someone does a story on your event, we would like to know about it, so please send us a link at coastsweep@mass.gov.

COASTSWEEP Poster

An 8½"x11" cleanup poster will be posted later in the summer. You can download and customize this poster with your cleanup information. You can fill it out online or hand write the details. If you do not have a printer, just let us know, and we'll ship some printed posters to you with your supplies.

Data Cards

PLEASE NOTE: Safety precautions for COVID-19 may make it difficult to use data cards this year. CZM will also provide information on an Ocean Conservancy App for collecting data by mobile phone.

Ocean Conservancy provides data cards to record items collected by volunteers, along with a data summary sheet for each cleanup. (You will receive these in the mail with your supplies.)

More Information

Below are links to some additional materials to assist with your cleanup efforts.

  • Pocket Guide to Marine Debris (PDF, 1 MB) - This Ocean Conservancy publication provides basic background information about marine debris.
  • More on Marine Debris - See this page for an explanation of the marine debris issue, along with links to additional resources.

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