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Coastal Cleanups

Do you want to help keep Casco Bay clean? Volunteer to help out at one of our coastal cleanups!

Trash is an unsightly blight that makes it hard for everyone to enjoy a special place like Casco Bay. Litter and marine debris on our shores come from many sources. Careless beach goers, boaters, fishing vessels, and other ships can leave trash behind. Stormwater washes trash from yards and parking lots into storm drains that empty into Casco Bay.

Litter and marine debris that wind up on our shores can pollute our water, hurt marine life, and reduce the quality of life of those who live, work, and play on Casco Bay.

Coastal Cleanups are a great hands-on activity for youth groups, scout troops, team-building exercises, and corporate volunteers days. Our volunteers record data on the trash they pick up and that information is used to help create policy to reduce pollution in our coastal waters.

You can learn more about joining us as a volunteer here.

When you volunteer to help us with a cleanup, you are:

  • Collecting data on the types and size of materials removed
  • The data is then used locally and internationally for marine debris advocacy efforts
  • Making our shores cleaner and safer
  • Ensuring our coast is a place people can go to recreate and relax
  • Helping protect wildlife
  • Supporting the local economy as our coast is part of Maine’s brand; it as an ideal tourist attraction that creates a stream of revenue that supports our community
  • Protecting our quality of life

Items often found during cleanups include:

  • Styrofoam
  • Remnants from lobster traps
  • Plastic: Plastic bags and soda can rings can ensnare wildlife, causing birds and other animals to choke and die. Plastics can break down into tiny particles and be carried far out to sea where they can be ingested by fish, birds, sea turtles, and whales. Once swallowed by an animal, plastic can fill its digestive system, causing it to starve.
  • Syringes: Some waste is a biohazard, such as hypodermic needles, which threaten public health.
  • Cans and bottles
  • Cigarette butts: Cigarette butts, our most common example of litter, are made from synthetic cellulose, which contains many toxic chemicals and takes centuries to degrade.

Small trash is just as important as the big stuff! That’s why we always bring paper bags to make it easier to remove cigarette butts, pieces of plastic, and other litter. Working in teams of 3-4, each person can carry a small brown paper bag and fill that before emptying into the larger shared black garbage bag.

Read more about coastal cleanups:

Storm Drain Stenciling

Friends of Casco Bay Volunteers Take to the Streets—and the Beach

October 12, 2017

This past summer, volunteers undertook several community service projects to help keep Casco Bay clean. Thank you to TD Green Team, the Leadership Development Program… Read more