Clean Ocean Access (COA) hosted their first beach cleanup of October this past Saturday. Twenty six committed volunteers came together at Island Park Beach and Gull Cove in Portsmouth to remove 72 pounds of trash from the areas. People of all ages were out and about on this beautiful Saturday, shocked by the amount of glass bottles found within a mile of brush at Gull Cove. Some volunteers went back a second and third time filling their bags to the top with glass bottles.

Volunteers, Megan Costaregni and Kaleigh Miech, believe that participating in COA beach cleanups have increased their awareness of marine debris and litter on the coastline. They stated “when I first got to the beach it looked pretty clean but then when I started to look for trash I was surprised to see how much I found.” Tim Jaeger, volunteer and shoreline access intern for COA, reflected on his experience: “doing a beach cleanup is a great way to spend an afternoon and you are helping the environment, so it is a win-win!”

It was exciting to see various members of the community show up and make a difference, including the Rotary Club of Newport! In addition, several Salve Regina University students attend Saturday’s cleanup, inspired to come to the next cleanup! COA continues to enforce RIDOH guidelines for all events to ensure the health and safety of our community. Through the RIDOH Crush COVID Initiative, COA is able to provide all volunteers personal protective equipment, such as face masks and hand sanitizer, and
tips to safely and sustainably prevent the spread of the virus.

The next beach cleanup is on October 10th at Second Beach in Middletown. Pre-registration is required via Clean Ocean Access to participate.