LAVALLETTE — Volunteers congregated at Philadelphia Avenue Beach April 15 beach to hand out gloves, water bottles, and Dunkin Donuts gifts card to participants all in Lavallette’s Ocean Action Beach Sweep’
The effort had been postponed from April 1 due to bad weather that day.
More than 40 volunteers joined in the sweep according to Councilwoman Anita Zalom, who, along with fellow council member David Finter, served as captain of one of the beach sweep crews.
Volunteers received data cards in order to record the items they found while sweeping the beach. The most common objects are food or candy wrappers, shopping bags, straws, bottle caps and cigarettes. In fact, plastic accounts for the highest proportion of collected debris every year. In 2022 plastic made up 82.43 percent of debris collected. Many of these pieces deteriorate to microplastics, making them “bite-size” and harmful to many marine species.
Junior Beach Captain Christian Orem, 17, has led the Ocean Action Beach Sweep for the past three years. Before that, his sister Sarah Orem, was in charge of leading the cleanup before beginning college.
“It’s a shame that people litter since it’s pretty easy to keep up after yourself. Environmentalism is something I’m passionate about and helping out is worth it,” said Christian.
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