We work with a wide network of partners to create and implement sustainability initiatives both locally and regionally. Seaside 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 resources for projects so they may initiate involvement and inspire change in our local coastal communities.
Have you ever noticed how much trash and littering takes place in certain areas? You can't imagine how much plastic products thrown into the ocean: 8 million tons entering each year. What could we possibly do to stop so much trash from being dumped into our everyday lives and beloved beaches? Seaside is working on a solution. We are proposing ordinances for bans to eliminate single use items in Rockport Massachusetts, forging the way for a cleaner, greener, and healthier world. Our goals are to reduce the use of polystyrene (Styrofoam) items including plastic single use bags, plastic cutlery, single use water bottles, balloons and plastic straws. There will be efforts to ban plastic bags in places like grocery stores and replacing them with biodegradable paper or reusable bags. It is important to realize our impact littering and waste has not only because of harsh chemicals but hazards to our surrounding environment. Nothing affects you as a citizen of the environment more directly than littering. One of the biggest threats that our society poses to the ocean is our use of plastic products: Because of this, it is important to think about the change that we can make in our own backyards.
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.
A project in collaboration with the Gloucester Clean City Commission, the City of Gloucester, One Ocean One Love, Salem Sound Coastwatch, Gloucester’s Committee for the Arts, Seaside Sustainability presents Drain smART, an 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 designed by Molly Jones, supported by the inspirational work of Jack Nessen from Salem Sound Coastwatch, 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 effect as of January 2019. This initiative, developed and managed by intern John Dello Russo, 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 https://www.facebook.com/BYOBagGloucester/
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.
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.
• Dr. Robert Whitehouse: UMass Lowell Professor - all collected plastics are given to Dr. Whitehouse to be turned into marine degradable plastic products.
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.
Keep Massachusetts Beautiful is seeking municipal partners to receive free Sidewalk Butlers for the collection and recycling of cigarette butts. During the 2017 International Coastal Cleanup, volunteers collected more than 1.8 million cigarette butts from the world’s coastlines. Butts are the most prevalent item found during cleanups each year, but smokers do not have many options for their safe disposal and often toss them onto the streets and other public spaces. Sidewalk Butlers can provide a convenient way for smokers to properly dispose of their butts. All receptacles come equipped with a tracking chip that syncs with a mobile app to help towns track collections. The cigarette butts collected can be recycled into other products through a partnership with TerraCycle. To learn more, see this National Geographic video. Thirty five of these bins were donated and will soon be installed in Gloucester, Natick, Mansfield, and Hyde Park. Later this year, dozens of additional Butlers will be available for installation in other communities. Interested communities should contact Keep Massachusetts Beautiful.
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.