LONG BRANCH: Saturday morning, Oct. 25, was Clean Ocean Action Day along the shore and in Long Branch meant teams of volunteers with garbage bags, gloves and stamina at the city's Ocean Promenade at Sirena's Restaurant, the start point for cleaning the beach.
COA Beach Sweeps volunteer Nichole Franco from Long Branch was on deck with donuts, beverages, boxes of black and white trash bags, and rubber gloves for sanitary reasons. She welcomed volunteers from the ALPS (The Academy of Laws and Public Safety, a vocational high school in Long Branch), a good size team from the Ocean Township student body and a half dozen Rotarians from the Greater Long Branch Rotary Club were on hand initially at 8:00 a.m. More teams followed but these were the first to arrive.
The idea was to pick up the waste and garbage from the sands at Oceanside, being careful to not take needles, unidentifiable items and refrigerators but only things that fit the black garbage backs and the white recycle bags each team was given.
Some free-form clean up groups were out at the water edge already. The COA volunteers were asked to record what they picked to help future planners to identify patterns of stuff left behind by beach-goers. The info will assist planners for future cleanups, and understanding containments and potential dangers.
The weather was with the volunteers as bright sun warmed the scene and keep finger from freezing.
No refrigerators were brought back, but several unusual things were found and properly disposed of.