Barnegat Bay Blitz Cleanup Kicks Off in Barnegat Friday

Jun 06, 2018

Katherine McCabe, acting commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, will headline the ninth annual Barnegat Bay Blitz Kickoff Friday, June 8, 9 a.m. at the Barnegat Township municipal dock.

The annual event is spearheaded by the DEP, aided by various sponsors, in an effort to bring together citizens, students, businesses and local governments to help clear trash from, and foster a greater appreciation for, Barnegat Bay and its surrounding area.

Larry Hajna said cleanups are planned in or near every municipality in the 660-square-mile watershed.

“They not only clean up areas by the water, but also in the forested areas,” said Hajna. “It’s a great educational opportunity, since many schools use it for an activity. The future of the watershed will depend on these kids as they grow into adults.”

Hajna said the first Barnegat Bay Blitz was held in October 2011, and it has grown significantly each year since. “We hold one in the spring and in the fall,” he said.

He said the most common items collected are plastic goods such as bottles, caps and straws. However, the cleanup has also resulted in finding discarded televisions, hot tubs, refrigerators and other appliances.

“We’re hoping to get between 1,500 and 2,000 volunteers,” said Lynette Lurig, DEP research scientist and one of the volunteer coordinators. “Unfortunately, there’s never a shortage of trash collected.”  —E.E.

 

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