Thousands collect garbage throughout Barnegat Bay watershed during annual ‘blitz’

    Team Wawa volunteers sweep through Berkeley Township during last week's Barnegat Bay Blitz. (Photo: Ocean County Parks & Recreation)

    Team Wawa volunteers sweep through Berkeley Township during last week's Barnegat Bay Blitz. (Photo: Ocean County Parks & Recreation)

    Thousands of volunteers fanned out throughout the Barnegat Bay watershed last week to collect garbage strewn throughout the area. 

    The 7th annual “Barnegat Bay Blitz” brought together more than 5,000 volunteers, of which 4,000 were students, to sweep the bay’s 660 square mile watershed that spans all or parts of 37 municipalities in Ocean and Monmouth counties, according to a New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection release. 

    Teams targted wetlands, stream banks, storm water discharge points, school, trails docks, areas around bulkheads, and the bayshore. 

    “The blitz has become a tradition that pulls together people from many walks of life who share a common bond – their love of Barnegat Bay,” NJDEP Commissioner Bob Martin said in the release.

    A state research scientist who organized the event says the Barnegat Bay Blitz has raised public awareness of the ecological pressures on the bay. 

    “This program has planted the seeds of environmental activism and awareness not just in children but in the many people who live and work in the bay region,” said Lynnette Lurig. 

    Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

    It will take 126,000 members this year for great news and programs to thrive. Help us get to 100% of the goal.