VENTNOR – About a dozen volunteers from Sustainable Downbeach, Stockton University and Ventnor residents braved the 34 degree cold to clean up the roadside bordering the wetlands Saturday, Jan. 30.
Wearing face masks and bright green day-glow T-shirts, the “marauders” worked in small groups and attacked the trash along the road, filling up 17 large trash bags, three bags of recyclable materials and some other items too large to put into trash bags.
The cleanup was held to honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service. It was organized by Egg Harbor River Watershed Ambassador Dylan O’Brien and sponsored by the ACUA with the support of Sustainable Downbeach.
Despite the cold, the volunteer crew was able to complete the work in two hours, leaving the wetlands a much cleaner place than when they arrived. The sun smiled brightly on the workers as they walked along the road, warming the group as they advanced their way along the road.
The most common items found were cigarette butts, which are some of the smallest and hardest items to pick up. Next were plastic bags, food wrappers, plastic bottles, coffee cups and lids. Some of the plastic had decayed so badly it would break into tiny pieces the moment they were picked up. Other retrieved items that have become all too common are facemasks and small liquor bottles.
Among other found items were a child’s pool or sandbox, a dock flotation device with a lifejacket, yard signs and pieces of plywood and other wood.