Beach sweeps gather trash - and information

TRENTON - A Christmas songs CD, medical bracelets, and a golf ball are some of the items that volunteers found after sweeping across dozens of Jersey Shore beaches as part of an environmental group's cleanup program Saturday.

Clean Ocean Action staged its 31st annual spring beach sweeps at more than 70 coastal locations.

Nearly 4,000 volunteers collected, tallied, and removed harmful and unsightly debris. Their discoveries also included an electrical plug, a screwdriver, a gasoline can, and candle wax.

The data collected from these sweeps will be combined with information collected during similar events held this fall, then analyzed and presented in an annual report.

Organizers say the reports identify pollution problems, educate citizens on the debris, and contribute to local and international efforts to combat marine pollution.