Blog : Cleaner Beaches Thanks to Blue Ocean Society

By Katelyn | Sep 21, 2015 | in

On Saturday, September 19, volunteers from across the seacoast hit the beach with Blue Ocean Society for Marine Conservation for the New Hampshire Coastal Cleanup.

Blue Ocean Society is a non-profit organization, based in Portsmouth, working to protect marine animals in the Gulf of Maine through research, conservation, and education to both adults and students. Blue Ocean Society organizes the New Hampshire Coastal Cleanup in conjunction with the International Coastal Cleanup now in its 30th year.

This year’s cleanup was conducted at sites along the New Hampshire coastline, where volunteers collected trash which as recorded and the data used to implement city and state projects to reduce waste on New Hampshire beaches. 

As part of the NH Coastal Cleanup, Blue Ocean Society also held a school cleanup on Septmeber 18 for students to participate in the 30th Annual International Day of Cleanup. Students from Portsmouth, Nottingham, and Milton gathered on Rye and Hampston beaches to help beautify the New Hampshire coast. Fifth and sixth graders from Nottingham picked up 35 pounds of debris, including 12,130 cigarette butts from Hampton Beach. On the second day, employees from Waste Management and volunteers cleaned North Hampton State Park and removed 25 pounds of debris. 

Last year the event was successful with more than 1,120 volunteers cleaning 26 miles of New Hampshire’s coastlines and waterways. Volunteers collected 2,207 pounds of trash and the most common item collected was cigarette butts, of which more than 25,000 were collected.

The International Coastal Cleanup (ICC) is the largest volunteer one-day event of its kind. The Ocean Conservancy, an organization that promotes healthy and diverse oceans and opposes practices that threaten ocean and human life, started the ICC in Texas in 1985. For its own part, Blue Ocean Society has coordinated the New Hampshire Cleanup since 2005 and was awarded a grant from the New Hampshire Coastal Program to organize and run the event.

Various local businesses came together to sponsor this year’s cleanup, such as Wentworth-Douglass Hospital, Exeter Hospital, GXT Green, and Starbucks. The event was also sponsored in part by Waste Management, who assisted with the disposal of the collected garbage.

If you missed the New Hampshire Coastal Cleanup, check in often with the Blue Ocean Society to see when their next beach cleanup is taking place.