Blog : Join the Blue Ocean Society at the 30th Annual NH Coastal Cleanup

By Katelyn | Sep 9, 2015 | in

The Blue Ocean Society for Marine Conservation will participate in the 30th annual International Coastal Cleanup, on Saturday, September 19, 2015. The cleanup will be conducted at approximately 25 sites along the New Hampshire coast and Great Bay, and volunteers are needed to assist from roughly 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

Blue Ocean Society, based in Portsmouth, has been coordinating the New Hampshire Coastal Cleanup since 2005 and strives to spread awareness about the marine environment and the importance of proper trash disposal. During the cleanup, each piece of trash collected is recorded, and the data is used to implement city and state projects to lessen waste on our beaches.

Last year’s cleanup in New Hampshire was a great success, with more than 1,120 volunteers coming together to clean 26 miles of New Hampshire’s coastlines and waterways. Volunteers collected 37,085 pieces of debris, which amounted to 2,207 pounds of trash. The number one item collected was cigarette butts, of which more than 25,000 were collected. Blue Ocean Society hopes that this year’s cleanup will involve more volunteers to create the most successful New Hampshire cleanup yet.

Blue Ocean Society for Marine Conservation was awarded a grant from the New Hampshire Coastal Program to coordinate the event in New Hampshire. The International Coastal Cleanup is the largest volunteer one-day event of its kind and started in Texas in 1985 by the Ocean Conservancy, whose mission is to promote healthy and diverse ocean ecosystems and oppose practices that threaten ocean life and human life.

Numerous mammals, birds, and fish die every year from entanglement or ingestion of dangerous debris. Cleanups lessen the threat of debris to marine wildlife. Items such as fishing line, nets, plastic bags, balloons, ribbon and six-pack holders are extremely dangerous and potentially fatal when not disposed of properly. Some of the debris comes from ocean-based sources, butaccording to the Ocean Conservancy, 62% of debris collected comes from recreational activities on or near the water. Wind, currents and waves help trash travel, which flows through New Hampshire towns, on and off the seacoast.

Various local businesses have come together to sponsor this year’s cleanup, such as the New Hampshire Coastal Program, Wentworth-Douglass Hospital, Exeter Hospital, and Starbucks. The event is also sponsored in part by Waste Management, who will assist with the disposal of the collected waste.

Funding to coordinate the Coastal Cleanup was provided by the New Hampshire Coastal Program under the Coastal Zone Management Act by NOAA’s Office of Ocean and Coastal Resource Management. The New Hampshire Coastal Program (NHCP) is a federally approved coastal program authorized under the Coastal Zone Management Act and is administered by the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services. NHCP strives to maintain a balance between the use and preservation of coastal resources. Through partnerships, funding and science, NHCP works to improve water quality and decision-making in 42 coastal watershed communities while supporting maritime uses and restoring coastal wetlands.

To join the cleanup contact Blue Ocean Society at (603) 431-0260, email, or click here for more info. 

Green Alliance members receive free admission to the Blue Ocean Discovery Center!