Over 108 people came out to clean the beaches in Atlantic City on Monday, January 20, 2020 for Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service, an annual community service event. The event was in collaboration with Stockton University and despite a cold and windy winter day, volunteers arrived en masse.
1,209 lbs of trash were collected in total (174 lbs of recycling waste), by volunteers of all ages including local residents and residents outside of Atlantic City, students of Stockton University and local area schools in both Atlantic City and Ocean City, Stockton alumni, employees of Envestnet from Berwyn, PA and other companies, the president of Stockton University, Dr. Harvey Kesselman, Ed.D., his wife Mrs. Kesselman and staff.
The cleanup brought attention and awareness to litter issues such as the amount of cigarette butts and single-use plastics both by and under the boardwalk, even with a state smoking ban at NJ beaches and parks. An overwhelming amount of cigarette butts, straws, cups, bottle caps and other trash were unreachable under the boardwalk. Plastic bottle caps were a top item found on the beach among plastic bags, plastic bottles, balloons and fireworks litter.
Surfrider Foundation South Jersey would like to thank all volunteers who showed up to make a difference on their day off – working together to keep our beaches clean, oceans healthy and recording data along the way! The data collected is crucial in raising awareness, creating change and action locally, and developing legislation to fight the plastic pollution crisis facing us now and our future. Thank you Stockton University for collaborating with us for this event.