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New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
DATE: September 15, 2011
CONTACT: Mary Power and Catherine Coletti, Coastal Program (603) 559-1500;
Jen Kennedy and Heather Lewis, Blue Ocean Society for Marine Conservation, (603) 431-0260

New Hampshire Volunteers Participate in Worldwide Cleanup Effort

Portsmouth, NH – Join volunteers Saturday September 17 for the 25th International Coastal Cleanup Day in New Hampshire to make a difference by cleaning up our beaches. Last year over six hundred thousand people removed more than eight million pounds of trash in this annual event, which is coordinated worldwide by the Ocean Conservancy. During last year’s New Hampshire cleanup 1,300 participants picked up more than 6,000 pounds of trash.

Picking up litter helps wildlife. Whales, birds and fish often mistake it for food or get caught in it and are no longer able to move or swallow. Entanglement and eating dangerous debris kill wildlife every year.

Cigarette butts, rope, food wrappers, plastic bags, and fishing equipment like fish hooks and fishing line are all commonly found during beach cleanups in N.H. This litter takes years to break down in the environment. For example, a plastic bag will take between 10-20 years to decompose and monofilament fishing line takes a whopping 600 years.

The Ocean Conservancy estimates that about 60 percent of debris in the ocean originates from land, meaning that people have the power to put an end to this problem.

The cleanup weekend kicks off this Friday, September 16 when an expected 500 students will help clean up several beaches, including Hampton Beach State Park, North Beach, Foss Beach, Ragged Neck State Park, and Wallis Sands. Then on Saturday September 17, volunteers will pick up litter on more than 25 locations on the coast and Great Bay area. Cleanups begin between 8 am and noon, but vary by site. For more information on start times and meeting spots visit: http://www.blueoceansociety.org/Research/coastal_cleanup.html.

What: Student Cleanup Day; International Coastal Cleanup Day
When: September 16 and 17
Where: Hampton Beach State Park, North Beach, Foss Beach, Ragged Neck State Park, and Wallis Sands; Numerous locations throughout the Seacoast, including an underwater site at the NH State Pier in Hampton coordinated by Coastal Program staff Mary Power, where volunteers from United Divers of N.H. will display recovered debris on tarps for a photo opportunity. Additional locations: Odiorne State Park, Foss Beach, Jenness Beach and Wallis Sands in Rye; Hampton Beach in Hampton; Scammell Bridge and Durham Landing in Durham. For more locations visit http://www.blueoceansociety.org/Research/coastal_cleanup.html

The Blue Ocean Society for Marine Conservation is coordinating this year’s International Coastal Cleanup in New Hampshire with grant funding provided by the Coastal Program at the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services. Other major sponsors are Waste Management and the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration Marine Debris Program. Free coffee and water will be provided thanks to sponsorship by Starbucks Coffee and Poland Spring; volunteers are encouraged to bring reusable containers for beverages. For a list of all sponsors, please visit http://www.blueoceansociety.org/Research/coastal_cleanup.html.

For more information on the cleanup visit http://www.blueoceansociety.org/Research/coastal_cleanup.html or contact Heather Lewis and Jen Kennedy at (603) 431-0260 or email at coastalcleanup@blueoceansociety.org.

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