We all know our ocean and beaches in New Jersey are filled with things that have no business being there. Namely, plain old garbage. Twice a year, the Long Branch-based group, Clean Ocean Action, organizes volunteers to clean up the shoreline in an annual Beach Sweep.
An excellent article by Dino Flammia on NJ1015.com tells the whole story — what COA found on the beach in 2021 as well as comparisons to what they found more or less of in previous years.
For example, since the last Beach Sweep in 2019, there were major increases in scavenged balloons, plastic toys, and foam packaging materials. On the other hand, there's good news, too. The amount of diapers, plastic six-pack holders, condoms, glass, and tampon applicators decreased substantially since the last clean-up.
There are always going to be odd finds, too. Things that no can ever figure out exactly how they ended up in the ocean. Or why they were even on a beach to begin with. For example, I was shocked to find out that some of the debris found on beaches included car parts, building materials, traffic cones and road signs. But below is a list of the 31 strangest items that COA found in the beach clean up in 2021.
For the entire list and more statistics about ocean cleanups check the clean ocean action website here.