Get students out of the classroom and up close to science they can touch
Taking initiative to clean the oceans
When the tide rises, it carries things on the beach back into the ocean. Unfortunately, this includes coastal trash, most of which will go on to stay in the ocean for decades, even centuries. That's why we give our coast a clean-up every once in a while! About 10 times during the year, Seaside Sustainability—along with its many other partners—collaborate to clean up our coast. Thanks to these efforts, an abundance of trash ends up where it belongs, instead of in the ocean. Also, we understand the importance of removing debris already in the ocean, so we added boats to the team.
Over the years, this has proven to be a success. We have collected items such as lobster traps and fishing gear, which can be harmful to the marine ecosystem if left unattended in the water. When the team leaves, our Seabins are still there to collect floating debris!
Seaside strives to promote clean waterways and oceans not only through legislation, but by leading communities in more direct ways, such as organizing coastal cleanups on public beaches to remove plastic that has washed ashore.
Help reduce the pollution in your local waterways by signing up for our regularly scheduled beach cleanups! We provide you with collection bags, gloves, and a card for recording the types of trash you pick up. We collect the trash data and report it to the Ocean Conservancy database.
Want to schedule your own group for a beach cleanup? This is a great community service activity for Scouts or other organizations. Contact Seaside Sustainability via our contact form below and we will help you make it happen!
'Sea Level Rise' and 'Microplastics in Sand' are two supplementary activities that can be requested at your scheduled beach cleanup. The activities are extremely unique learning tools that give everyone hands-on experience for what it's like to be more sustainable! These are add-ons and may not be offered year-round, so please contact us if you'd like to know more!
Sea Level Rise
Sea levels are rising due to increasingly warmer annual temperatures causing glaciers and ice caps to melt at faster rates than ever before. Come join the Seaside team in our efforts to monitor sea level rise in Cape Ann using marking flags, meter sticks, and spotting scopes. Teaching about sea level rise, storm surge, and the tides, both seasonal tide changes and our extreme king tides, are all part of our mission.
What's so special about this activity?
Measuring sea level rise is a fantastic learning exercise to visually understand the effects of environmental changes. Learning about changes in sea level and the impact of storm surges facing our coasts is paramount to the future of our cities. By understanding these changes, we can effectively plan for our future with the necessary criteria in mind.
Microplastics in Sand
Microplastics are plastic materials smaller than 5mm in length and are often not easily visible to the human eye. They have been found in our food, water, and air. The source of microplastic is the breakdown of macroplastics and the nurdles used to create these macroplastic items. Areas with large amounts of microplastics may be directly correlated to macroplastic accumulation areas on our beaches impacted by weather winds and currents.
What's so special about this activity?
This provides a hands-on learning environment! We carefully determine the amount of plastic contamination by measuring the amount of microplastics present in the beach sand. We utilize high quality sieves of multiple sizes to sift through the sand; these sieves are extremely effective at separating out microplastics, which you'll be able to see for yourself!
With our experience and tools, we can easily teach our volunteers how to carry out these beach surveys and directly contribute to removing harmful plastics from our waterways.