The Urban Harbors Institute at the University of Massachusetts Boston hosted its annual COASTSWEEP coastal cleanup last Tuesday.
More than 35 volunteers helped remove approximately 150 pounds of trash, including food wrappers, plastic bottles, plastic bags, cigarette butts, and even a boogie board, from the entrance to campus alongside Morrissey Boulevard. Volunteers primarily included McMahon Associates staff and UMass Boston students.
Volunteers spent much of their time picking up cigarette butts, picking up more than 100 cigarette butts within 250 feet of the UMass Boston sign alone. Plastic cigarette filters do not biodegrade and the chemicals in the discarded butts are harmful to aquatic life
This cleanup was part of COASTSWEEP, which is the Massachusetts statewide coastal cleanup sponsored by the Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management. COASTSWEEP occurs annually each September through November, and is also part of the International Coastal Cleanup, organized by Ocean Conservancy, to help keep trash out of our oceans and coastlines.