These sustainability initiatives are local projects that aim to bring our environmental footprint to the forefront. We work with a wide network of partners to create and implement sustainability initiatives both locally and regionally. Seaside Sustainability has teamed up with Gloucester’s Clean City Commission and other local partners to develop and collaborate local environmental projects.  Through these initiatives, we aim to provide our partner organizations & schools, as well as educators & students, with educational resources for these projects as they develop so they may initiate involvement and inspire change in our local coastal communities.  


Clean Harbor Initiative

The Cape Ann Marine Partnership joins together the NOAA Marine Debris Program, the US Coast Guard, Maritime Gloucester, Gloucester's Clean City Commission, and One Ocean One Love under Seaside Sustainability's fiscal sponsorship through an initiative to eradicate marine pollution. These organizations, which strive to promote marine health and sustainability awareness, are fundraising to install two different prototype designs in Gloucester Harbor which will actively gather floating marine debris year-round. Data will be collected on the types and origins of collected debris which will be used to provide new mitigation strategies and to educate the public on the impact our trash is having on our local marine environment.


Storm Drain Art

In collaboration with Gloucester Clean City Commission, and partners One Ocean One Love & Salem Sound Coastwatch, Seaside Sustainability presents Drain smARTan initiative to raise awareness about the link between storm drains and the ocean’s health. Street drains carry waste water, along with anything on the nearby ground, directly into the ocean.  This pollution, including harmful chemicals, oil, cigarette butts, plastic bags and many other forms of trash, are then swept, unfiltered, directly into the sea. This project will get the community involved by inviting local artists and creatives of all ages to design ocean themed murals that will be painted on drains around Gloucester.  These artistic displays will draw attention to this issue and inspire passersby to think twice before carelessly polluting our local harbors and oceans.  This initiative is proudly funded by  New England Grassroots Environmental Fund, NOAA Marine Debris Program, and The National Marine Sanctuary Foundation. 


Gloucester Single-Use-Bag & Polystyrene Ordinance

Seaside Sustainability has teamed up with Gloucester’s Clean City Commission, under the leadership of City Councilors Melissa Cox & Sean Nolan, and recently passed a ban in Gloucester on all single use plastic bags and polystyrene (Styrofoam) containers (like coffee cups and takeout food containers) which will go into affect as of January 2019. This initiative is imperative in maintaining the beauty and health of our coastal city’s land & marine spaces.  Considering the availability of biodegradable and reusable alternatives, as well as the economic benefits of the proposed ordinance, through this partnership we will work to educate the citizens of Gloucester in order to accomplish this goal collaboratively. #BringYourOwnBagGloucester.  Like us on Facebook at

Is your business affected by the proposed plastic bag & polystyrene bans?  Have your thoughts heard via this brief survey regarding the potential negative impact on local business owners.


Rockport Ban

As denizens of the earth, it is important to consider the effects that our decisions have on the planet, land and sea. One of the biggest threats that our society poses to the ocean is our use of plastic products: 1.4 billion pounds entering the ocean each year. Because of this, it is important to think about the change that we can make in our own backyards. Our goal with this initiative is to eliminate many of today’s single use items in Rockport Massachusetts, forging the way for a cleaner, greener, and healthier ocean.  In the spring summer of 2018, Seaside will start the process of proposing a series of ordinaces to pab single-use plastic bags, polystynrene, plastic utensils, ballons, straws, and single-use water bottles.  


Coastal Cleanups

About 10 times during the year, Seaside Sustainability—along with its many other partners—collaborate to conduct coastal cleanups. With a growing amount of debris landing on our beaches, it is important to think about where those items will go when the tide rises. Because of these efforts, much of that trash does not end up in the ocean. This team also understands the value of removing debris that have already entered the ocean, which is why this team uses boats in addition to their teams on foot. Over the years this has proven to be a success among big and small debris, collecting items such as lobster traps and fishing gear, that are otherwise harmful to the marine ecosystem.

Our Partners:

• Dr. Robert Whitehouse: UMass Lowell Professor - all collected plastics are given to Dr. Whitehouse to be turned into marine degradable plastic products.

• Cape Ann Maritime Partnership

• One Ocean One Love

• Gloucester Clean City Commission


Eight Towns And The Great Marsh

The Great Marsh is is the largest salt marsh north of Long Island, New York, and covers an area of over 20,000 acres from Gloucester to Newburyport. As the marsh is an important resource to maintaining a balanced, diverse, and lively coastal ecosystem, a group called the 8 Towns and The Great Marsh was founded to preserve this resource. Because of Seaside Sustainability's work on the North Shore, we have been given the position as Gloucester’s collaborator and representative for the Great Marsh. In this position, Seaside Sustainability will work alongside these other towns to protect and serve the Salt Marsh of New England. In addition, Seaside Sustainability will work with many groups to promote coastal protection and educate on the importance of the Great Marsh.

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Butt Butlers

Cigarette butts are found at every clean up in Gloucester, often collected by the hundreds. They are routinely found on public beaches and in storm drains, where they contribute to marine debris and the pollution of Gloucester Harbor. According to the Ocean Conservancy’s International Coastal Cleanup, cigarette butts are the most commonly removed piece of marine debris world-wide, with numbers of over two million picked up and recorded each year. For this reason, The Gloucester Clean City Commission has partnered with Seaside Sustainability to purchase and install 20 metal cigarette butt receptacles in Gloucester. This program focuses on reducing the number of cigarette butts that end up on our streets, down our storm drains and in our harbors. The butlers are positioned on parking meters and posts throughout downtown Gloucester, where they are emptied periodically with assistance from Seaside Sustainability. When these buts have been collected, they are sent to TerraCycle to be broken down and recycled.

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This past Summer, Seaside Sustainability set around 20 lobster traps around the waters off of the North Shore. Because lobsters are a large part of the economy in New England, it is important to monitor their species to identify any threats that these organisms may be facing. As citizen scientists, we will identify these species size, gender, and their habitat, where we will use this information as a tool to protect and preserve the North Atlantic lobster population.

Gloucester Clean City Commission

The Clean City Commission consists of local city of Gloucester members appointed by the Mayor and approved by the City Council. These committed and passionate individuals serve to keep the city of Gloucester beautiful by organizing and directing volunteer efforts, working with all city departments, and keeping the Mayor and appropriate city departments informed of the maintenance and beautification needs of public property.  In particular, the GCCC has initiated numerous sustainability initiatives to fulfill their community beautification roles.  

Keep up with GCCC on Facebook at Clean Gloucester or on the City of Gloucester website.

“If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” -African Proverb