Marine Debris Clean Up

CHS Freshmen Class Coastsweep 2016

The following was compiled by multiple members of the CHS class of 2020

On Oct. 25th, 2016, the ninth grade class of Cohasset High School accomplished a “coast sweep” of Cohasset beaches including Bassings Beach, Black Rock Beach, Sandy Beach, and Scott’s Shore. We were out of school for more than half the day cleaning the beaches, and tallying our results for the Commonwealth’s annual program known as Coastsweep. We knew ahead of time that the wind chill along the coast was going to be very cold, even though it had been such a warm October. Many of us wore two sweatshirts, two shirts, two pairs of socks, two pairs of pants, gloves, and hats; but still the cold seemed to make its way to our bodies, leaving us shivering by lunchtime at Government Island.

Our goal was to clean up trash, not only larger pieces such as bottles, but also smaller bits of debris such as cigarette butts and bottle caps. All four beaches looked clean and well-kept from the road, but once we stepped on to the beach, we realized how dirty it really was. As we started to walk we uncovered so much litter and trash that it seemed as though someone had come before us and purposefully placed it there for us to find.

Many of the things members of our class enjoyed included digging out and hauling away dozen of mangled lobster traps and large bundles of twisted and tangled rope partially buried on the shore. (One thing you don’t get to do much during school is use a knife to cut thick pieces of rope!) We used teamwork and student horsepower which greatly contributed to the group’s effort. We also enjoyed finding the weird things such as shotgun shells, and what looked like IV bags. But, there were many disgusting things, too, including condoms, syringes, a bottle of what appeared to be pee, and some dead birds.

We gathered all different types of discarded fishing supplies, balloons, foam pieces, fireworks casings, clothing, coffee k-cups, and much more. Cataloging all of the strange debris we found made us realize the enormity of the problem. The trash affects the community… the people, animals, and environment. The experience left us wondering: if this much trash has accumulated on the coastline of our small town, how much must there be in other parts of the world.

When getting on to the warm bus after picking up trash for three hours on the cold windy October beaches, we were very excited. The weather was not the best, but the fun we had is something we will always remember.

We finished our task knowing that we had worked together with our friends and classmates helping the community and the environment.

Special thanks are extended to the Sandy Beach Association, the Cohasset Conservation Trust, the Sherbrooke family (for lending us a shovel and knife), and the Cohasset Harbormaster, Lori Gibbons, for ferrying us and our trash over to and back from Bassings Beach.

Coastsweep Data Oct 25, 2013