Annual Statewide CoastSweep Underway Across Massachusetts

HYANNIS – The annual statewide CoastSweep officially began this week across Cape Cod and the rest of Massachusetts.

The event encourages volunteers to join dozens of cleanups along the coast this fall.

Organized by the Office of Coastal Zone Management, CoastSweep cleanups will be held throughout September and into early November.

Since 1987, thousands of volunteers have removed hundreds of tons of marine debris and other trash from Massachusetts beaches, lakes, rivers and seafloor.

“Marine debris presents a serious threat to Massachusetts’ wildlife, water quality and beaches that so many people enjoy every summer,”said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Matthew Beaton.

“To help keep our coast safe and beautiful for years to come, we encourage Commonwealth residents to join a CoastSweep cleanup this fall to pick up trash and take down data to help identify the sources of marine debris and find future solutions.”

Experts say sea birds, seals and other animals can be choked, starved or poisoned when they become entangled or mistake debris for food.

Sea turtles are particularly vulnerable and can die after swallowing clear plastic bags, which look like their favorite food, jellyfish.

Beachgoers can injure themselves on glass, wood or metal while walking on the sand or swimming off the coast, and boaters can find themselves stranded when propellers are jammed with fishing line, or cooling intakes are clogged with plastic.

To join a cleanup or organize your own, check out the COASTSWEEPwebsiteor call (617) 626-1200.

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