1 Day. 2 Cleanups. Hundreds of Plastics Collected.

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April 8, 2016

NY/NJ Baykeeper participated in two cleanups on April 8th as part of Earth Share's Corporate Green Day Challenge.

In Newark, we worked with a group of 20 PSE&G volunteers at Riverfront Park. In the Bayshore region, we partnered with a team of 41 volunteers from iCIMS at Veterans Memorial Park in the Cliffwood Beach section of Aberdeen, NJ.

EarthShare's Corporate Green Day Challenge inspires competition between cleanup teams throughout New Jersey, and judges them based on teamwork and spirit.

Both cleanup teams removed dozens of trash bags filled with plastic water bottles, plastic bottle caps, plastic bags, glass bottles, aluminum cans, Styrofoam, and other debris that dotted the grounds due to littering and storm tides. The cooperative effort resulted in a cleaner and healthier beach and park for the local community and wildlife.

At least 165 million plastic pieces float within harbor waters at any given time, according to NY/NJ Baykeeper's NY-NJ Harbor Estuary Plastic Collection Report. Polystyrene foam, more commonly known as Styrofoam, which is used in the production of single-use plastic cups and take-out containers, accounted for roughly 40 percent of the plastics found by the study. Flooding often washes litter into sewers, where it makes its way into local waters, and winds up on beaches and in wetlands. It then poses a threat to wildlife, who become entangled in it and/or sickened by it.

Here at NY/NJ Baykeeper, we're committed to preventing plastic pollution from entering our marine environment. Once plastic litter enters our waterways, it can harm habitat and be mistaken for food by fish and birds. Litter cleanups are a great way to prevent this type of harm to our waterways. We thank PSE&G and iCIMS for lending a hand to cleanup such an important resource to the Bayshore community.

We remind you to always dispose of trash properly and to avoid using throwaway products such as single-use plastic straws, bottles, and bags that can contribute to marine debris. For more plastic-free lifestyle tips, click here. 

Sandra Meola

Communications and Outreach Associate