Coastsweep Beach Cleanups Start Saturday

By: Alan Pollock

Last year’s Coastsweep collected more than 20,000 pounds of trash from Massachusetts beaches. HCT PHOTO

After a long summer of beaching and boating, the coastline is in need of a good tidying. Volunteers are being recruited for several beach clean-up efforts taking place under the state’s Coastsweep program.

Chatham’s mainland beaches will be scoured by Coastsweep volunteers this Saturday, Sept. 15 from 9 a.m. to noon, under the coordination of the Friends of Chatham Waterways. Would-be helpers are asked to email coordinator Betsy Mosser at betsymosser@aol.com.

Next Saturday, Sept. 22, will be a cleanup of the Monomoy National Wildlife Refuge. The effort will include removing trash and debris and cutting back vegetation on refuge trails. Weather permitting, volunteers will be shuttled by boat to the more remote parts of the refuge, should be ready to walk three miles or more and climb in and out of boats. Workers should bring lunch, snacks, water, work gloves and goggles, and should wear closed-toed footwear and long pants and shirts. The event happens from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., and volunteers should gather at the Refuge headquarters at 30 Wikis Way, Chatham. For information or to sign up, email Matt Hillman at matthew_hillman@fws.gov.

Coastsweep moves to Harwich the following Saturday, Sept. 29, coordinated by the Harwich Conservation Trust and the Harwich Natural Resources Department. Volunteers are asked to muster at Saquatucket Harbor at 9 a.m., where they will be dispatched to various Nantucket Sound beaches. In case of rain, the event will happen on Sunday, Sept. 30. To sign up or learn more, email Tyler Maikath at tyler@harwichconservationtrust.org before Sept. 25.

Coastsweep has been held each year for more than 20 years, and last year in Massachusetts, nearly 3,000 volunteers collected over 20,000 pounds of trash.