Volunteers collect 26 pounds of trash on beach in Old Orchard Beach

Volunteers collect 26 pounds of trash on beach in Old Orchard Beach
Courtesy Photo
Liz Gotthelf, Publisher

OLD ORCHARD BEACH — Dental floss, socks, a bracelet- these sound like items that are on a packing list for a weekend vacation, but they are just some of the items that were found on a recent trash clean-up event at the beach.

On Earth Day, April 22, about 30 people attended a beach clean-up event hosted by Maine Conservation Voters and Blue Ocean Society for Marine Conservation.

Four hundred and ninety six pieces of litter, weighing a collective 26 pounds, were picked up on the beach, said Danielle Kamberalis, marine debris program lead and volunteer coordinator with Blue Ocean Society for Marine Conservation.

 

 The items included 70 cigarette butts, 90 pieces of microplastic (pieces of plastic measuring 1-5 mm in size) and 25 bags of various types and sizes. Other items included a pillow, socks, a bracelet, a piece of a shoe, a coloring marker, several abandoned kids toys, dental floss and roofing shingles.

“We’re not just cleaning Old Orchard Beach, we’re also gathering data that will help scientists and advocates quantify and categorize the ocean debris problem to help inspire and inform solutions,” said Abbie Bradford, outreach manager for Maine Conservation Voters.

Blue Ocean Society for Marine Conservation enters data from cleanups like the one held in Old Orchard Beach recently in its database and compiles annual public reports, said Kamberalis.

Local groups who are interested in conducting beach cleanup events can download a guide from the Blue Ocean Society for Marine Conservation called the Digital Beach Cleanup Kit, she said.  The kit  includes instructions on how to tally debris found during beach cleanups and how to submit the data recorded from the event.

Publisher Liz Gotthelf can be reached at [email protected]