A Message in a Bottle and Trash on the Beach

Beach Sweeps collects garbage and more in Boro and Beach

A message in a bottle, a plastic bottle filled with sand, a flip flop, building materials, dog poop and lots of plastic were among the items found on the sand in Point Beach and Point Borough on Saturday.

Skyler Kummer, 8, a Point Borough resident, found a message in a bottle during the Saturday morning Beach Sweeps at Maxson Avenue beach in the Borough.

The message was sent on Oct. 9 by Robert Peters from a Spring Lake beach. Skyler notified Peters of the find and he said he had been hoping it would be found in South Africa rather than so close to home.

"Skyler is very happy with her find," said Beth Degen, her mother.

The message said: "This message was sent from the beach in Spring lake, NJ. Date sent: 10-9-12. Mail back with location found to...." and it listed Peters' mailing address in Spring Lake Heights.

Volunteers also converged on the River Avenue beach in the Borough and Jenkinson's and Maryland Avenue beaches in Point Beach. They were among thousands of volunteers who pulled on gloves and picked up trash at the four local sites and 61 other beaches throughout the  shore region for Clean Ocean Action's 28th Annual Spring Beach Sweeps.

Volunteers removed and catalogued each piece of debris to document ongoing pollution issues, making Beach Sweeps the first tally of debris since Superstorm Sandy. Robust crowds were reported up and down the coast, according to a prepared statement from Clean Ocean Action.

On the Maryland Avenue beach, more than 50 volunteers found a 55 gallon plastic drum, a syringe, cans, bottles, roofing and some dog poop, according to Clean Ocean Action.

The First Beach Sweep Since Superstorm Sandy

This year, Beach Sweeps was folded into Clean Ocean Action’s Wave of Action For The Shore program, a monthly volunteer initiative started in December 2012 to help the people, businesses, habitats and waterways of New York and New Jersey affected by Superstorm Sandy.  Beach Sweeps will be the first Wave of Action where data will be collected, a vital addition which will help inform citizens and elected officials of pollution problems after Superstorm Sandy.

The data collected today will be combined with data collected at the fall Beach Sweep in October, and then analyzed and presented in an annual report. These annual reports identify pollution problems, educate citizens on the types and quantities of debris, aid legislators in passing and enforcing laws to protect the marine environment, and contribute to local and international efforts to combat marine pollution.  Clean Ocean Action released the 2012 Annual Beach Sweep Report last week (available at www.cleanoceanaction.org).

“Clean Ocean Action is excited to integrate the 28th Annual Spring Beach Sweeps as part of the Waves of Action, a year-long initiative to recover and restore the NY/NJ coastline after the devastation of Sandy,” commented Tavia Danch, Clean Ocean Action Program Manager. “Sandy hit the Jersey Shore hard and littered our beaches with a huge amount of debris,” added Danch.

“Thanks to Clean Ocean Action and all the many volunteers that care enough and come out to make a difference. I hope one day there will be no need for Beach Sweeps because our oceans and beaches will be clean,” remarked Middle School Student and Union Beach Captain Peter Donnelly.

“Until then you will find me cleaning our oceans and streams every chance I get,” he said.

The Spring Beach Sweeps were made possible by support from generous sponsors. The statewide sponsors for the 2013 Beach Sweeps are Atlantic City Electric, Aveda, BD, Brook 35 & West, Comcast, Montecalvo Material Recovery Facility, Wakefern/ShopRite, South Jersey Industries, TD Bank (South Jersey and Monmouth County Sponsor) The Grove at Shrewsbury and United Teletech Financial.

The Site Sponsors for the 2013 Beach Sweeps are Adventure Aquarium, Brookdale Community College, Enterprise Rent A Car, New Jersey Natural Gas, Paul V. Fernicola & Associates, Rotary Club International District 7510, Surfrider Foundation, Jersey Shore Chapter and Surfrider Foundation, South Jersey Chapter.

 Spring 2013 Beach Sweeps Highlights and Unusual Items Found:


  • Raritan Bay Waterfront Park (South Amboy) – Volunteers found an unexploded ordnance! The county police and state police bomb squad response unit arrived on the scene.  


  • Seaside Park  – Beach Sweepers found stuffed animals from the boardwalk, debris from the log flume ride, a sea horse, jawbone of a fish, toy saxophone and a piece of coal.  A coal barge was sunk off Seaside Park in 1903 and Superstorm Sandy has moved the barge around a bit and loosened the coal. The Beach Captain at Seaside Park, John Peterson was given a Community Builder Award by Mayor Matthies for his involvement in Beach Sweeps for over 13 years.


  • Atlantic Highlands – A record number of volunteers at Atlantic Highlands filled over three dumpsters full of debris. The dumpsters were generously brought by Matt and Rich of J.H. Reid Construction based in South Plainfield. The Harbor Master, John, was also a huge help.


  • Sandy Hook – Over 720 volunteers found a backpack full of personal belongings and enough lumber and debris to over fill the dumpster!  Senator Frank Pallone spoke on site as well.


  • Atlantic City – Senator Jim Whelan joined volunteers and Atlantic City Electric President Vince Maione.


  • Belmar 1st Avenue – Over 150 Beach Sweepers found tiles from the old public restrooms of the Belmar boardwalk.


  • Keansburg – 125+ volunteers found a lot of medical waste.


  • Point Pleasant Beach, Maryland Avenue – Over 50 volunteers found a 55 gallon plastic drum syringe, cans, bottles, roofing and some dog poop!


  • Wildwood, Poplar Avenue – 70+ Beach Sweepers found a hard drive, fake flowers, a boogie board and a welcome mat.


  • Union Beach – Over 100 volunteers found a garden gnome and enjoyed an after party organized by Barefoot Wine.  Another after party was held down in North Wildwood.


  • Sea Bright – A record number of volunteers came into Sea Bright today, so many that COA staff had to deliver more supplies!


To learn more about the Beach Sweeps and Clean Ocean Action, call he organization at 732-872-0111 or visit their website.


Hank Kerchef April 29, 2013 at 11:49 PM
Faaaaak the beaches and the businesses. Locals should not support beach areas or businesses till the people and their homes get taken care of. Homeowners who need help are getting faaaaaked.
Hank Kerchef April 29, 2013 at 11:50 PM
Im not supporting one business at the beach till our communities and homeowners get the proper help they need.


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