You might be surprised at what washes up on NJ’s beaches

 Cleaning up Sandy Hook at the Spring 2012 Beach Sweeps. (Photo: Comcastdreambig via Flickr)

Cleaning up Sandy Hook at the Spring 2012 Beach Sweeps. (Photo: Comcastdreambig via Flickr)

It makes you wonder how they got there. Some unusual items have been found along New Jersey beaches.

A car bumper, a parking meter, and a set of Christmas lights were among the more than 315-thousand pieces of trash collected by volunteers during six hours of beach cleanups last year.

Cindy Zifp is executive director of Clean Ocean Action. She says plastic pieces are the most common form of litter at the shore. “The dangers they pose are primary to marine life because marine life mistakes these items for food and consumes them resulting in impacted digestive systems which can lead to sickness and deaths.”

Zipf says the group’s beach cleanups have had an impact. She says some towns have enacted smoking bans at the beach to reduce the amount of cigarette butts found in the sand. And some manufacturers have changed their packaging to reduce litter.

Clean Ocean Action holds its next beach clean-up day in New Jersey on April 25.

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