Clean Ocean Action utilizes science, education and action to enhance the quality of waters off New Jersey’s shores. Their initiatives include beach cleanup programs, volunteer opportunities, advocacy, and policy work.
COA’s annual Beach Sweep and Waterway Cleanup program helps clean beaches and waterways of marine debris. Volunteers collect data on the types of trash found, which is then used to educate on pollution issues and take proactive steps.
Make the Shoreline Shine
Clean Ocean Action is a nonprofit organization committed to improving the state of our oceans and waterways through science, law, education, and citizen action. We utilize all these methods in order to protect Earth’s most precious resource: its oceans and beaches.
COA is proud to be home to an expansive network of 125 boating, community, conservation, diving, environmental, fishing, religious, service, student, surfing and women’s groups that share a passion for protecting our marine environment. It’s no surprise these organizations are so passionate about conservation!
Our mission is to lead the charge in protecting Earth’s oceans and beaches. With your support, we can turn these shores into the next Blue Flag beach destination, creating an environmentally conscious world for future generations to enjoy!
Start by exploring our brand-new interactive EcoGuide for students and teachers. It is the latest in a series of educational tools designed to maximize outdoor time. The site offers plenty of enjoyable, engaging learning activities suitable for all ages.
Beach Cleanup Programs
Clean Ocean Action’s Beach Sweep Programs are an integral component of their mission to improve and protect the waters off New Jersey/New York’s shoreline. Since 1985, volunteers have collected millions of pieces of marine debris from beaches, waterways, and underwater sites throughout the region.
Marine debris has long been a significant issue for coastal environments. It can wreak havoc on beaches and wetlands, pollute and close waters, and negatively impact fish populations. Furthermore, it poses navigation hazards to boaters as well as leading to the death of birds or marine animals.
Plastics make up over 34% of marine debris, which lingers in ocean and coastal areas for years. When inhaled, these plastics can wreak havoc on fish’s digestive systems and other marine life.
Clean Ocean Action’s Beach Sweeps and Waterway Cleanup events occur at 72 locations along the Jersey Shore, with volunteers representing schools, scout and civic groups, boating groups, environmental and community organizations, Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts alike, veteran groups, businesses and families taking part.
Beach Sweeps offer an unforgettable opportunity for you and your family or friends to contribute positively to the shoreline. These cleanups are free; all ages are welcome to attend the event. Be sure to bring gardening or latex gloves as well as rain boots in case of inclement weather.
In addition to cleaning up the shoreline, volunteers are asked to fill out data cards about what they find during their sweeps. This data helps researchers and other stakeholders better comprehend the effects of marine pollution. The findings from these studies are then presented annually in annual reports that inform federal, state, and local policy initiatives designed to reduce emissions.
Last year, over 10,000 volunteers contributed to collecting a record 513,605 items during the Beach Sweeps across Maryland – amounting to an overall value of over one billion dollars worth of trash removed!
Cleanups, educational programs and science-based advocacy are just some ways you can make an impact!
The best part is that most of the fun takes place outdoors, which is always enjoyable. Plus, you’ll be part of an inclusive community that understands and values clean water as an important factor.
There are many opportunities to get involved, from beach cleanups to supporting our annual fair and festival. Furthermore, you can educate your friends and neighbors on protecting our ocean.
They’re always looking for volunteers of all ages and backgrounds to join our mission to keep the Bay clean and healthy for generations to come. Heal the Bay offers many volunteer opportunities, from working at our aquarium to participating in engaging and informative events.
Advocacy & Policy Work
COA not only organizes grassroots beach cleanup programs but also collaborates with government agencies to advocate for policies that protect ocean life. These include improving public health at swimming beaches and reducing plastics and litter that pollute waterways, destroy beautiful coastlines, and cause harm to marine creatures like turtles, whales, seals, birds and fish.
Cindy Zipf is the executive director of COA, leading a dedicated team dedicated to combatting ocean pollution in the New York/NJ region. She brings together and empowers over 115 boating, business, conservation, diving, environmental, fishing, service organizations as well as student and women’s groups in an effort to safeguard ocean health.
She examines regional, state and federal policies that affect marine water quality to reduce pollution with fact-based campaigns that implement environmentally sound solutions. Furthermore, she creates campaigns that bring commercial fishermen, boaters, divers, senior citizens, elected officials and local businesspeople together to defend the ocean environment.
Cindy’s passion for science and advocacy have driven her to create and direct COA’s campaigns and programs since 1984. Through these endeavors, Cindy has transformed the coalition into a powerful voice on issues such as ocean waste management, pollution from industrialization, and climate change.
Her experience working with the marine industry and local, state and federal government make her uniquely qualified to spearhead its policy initiatives. Currently she’s creating a strategic plan to create an education and advocacy program that will offer training and tools for people interested in participating in their communities’ planning, decision making and enforcement processes.
The purpose of this initiative is to empower and inform the environmental community of New Jersey on how they can get involved in local development decisions that affect water quality, as well as help improve adherence to regulations affecting marine water quality. This exciting new program will engage people of all ages through presentations, interactive games and displays; educating children; speaking to community groups; calling editors and elected officials; as well as sending letters.
She finds her job rewarding and motivating, working with various interest groups and people dedicated to protecting the ocean environment. Crafting campaigns that bring commercial fishermen, boaters, senior citizens, elected officials and local businesspeople together in advocacy for ocean conservation makes her job both stimulating and satisfying.
Clean Ocean Action provides a comprehensive approach to keeping New Jersey’s shores clean and healthy. Through their various initiatives, they clean up beaches and waterways, educate the public, and advocate for policies that protect marine life. By working with a network of over 125 organizations and volunteers, they can significantly impact the health of our oceans and beaches.
We all are responsible for protecting our environment, and Clean Ocean Action provides a tangible way for individuals to make a difference. There are many ways to get involved, from participating in beach cleanups to advocating for better policies. By joining forces with Clean Ocean Action and supporting their mission, we can help ensure that our shores remain clean and healthy for future generations to enjoy.
Learn more and join in through the Clean Ocean Action website.