Superintendent Jacobson is No Litterbug
Boston Harbor Islands hosted a beach clean-up on September 18, 2008 as part of COASTSWEEP, a statewide program that contributes to the international effort to make coasts safer for all marine life, including beach goers. Over 80 volunteers joined staff from Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR), Thompson Island Outward Bound Education Center and National Park Service (NPS) to clean up the beaches on Calf, Peddocks and Thompson Islands. Community members of all ages joined park staff to remove over 3,000 pounds (1.5 tons) of trash!
Volunteers recorded the collected items on data cards. Their tallies were submitted to The Ocean Conservancy, a Washington DC-based non-profit organization that manages an international database for marine debris trends. According to initial tallies, beverage bottles, cans, food wrappers and containers, bleach or cleaner bottles, and cigarettes were the among the most collected types of debris this year.
Recreational or commercial fishing and boating materials, which pose some of the most immediate risks to marine life, were also abundant. Marine debris threatens not only beach-goers and animals, but also the oceanic ecosystem as a whole. Volunteers and park staff all learned first-hand that trash must be discarded in a responsible way to preserve the health of our local and global ecosystems.— is the NPS Volunteer Coordinator and is a 2008 seasonal park ranger.