Here is a report of our results from August in Portsmouth. A big THANK YOU for Rachel reaching out to Brian who gave her our contact information. The dog Lucy was our team mascot and she helped to make sure we all stayed on track. This was the perfect way to start our island wide efforts for clean shorelines. Enjoy Labor Day!
Today we had a great day helping out with the 5th annual Coastal Urge SUP CUP at the Newport Ship Yard. Over 100 participants enjoyed a spectacular morning in the paddle board event. Before the awards ceremony we completed a 15-minute spot cleanup of Storer Park, Mary Ferrazzolli Park, Washington Street and State Pier in Newport as part of the environmental sustainability protocol to support the event. To no surprise, Cigarette butts is the #1 type of trashing haunting our harbor water front and we look forward to working with all communities on the island to ban the butts from parks, recreation areas and shorelines. | Action today so future generations can continue to enjoy ocean activities.
Thank you to all the cleanup leaders, volunteers both new and old that made the Summer Marine Debris Program a huge success on Aquidneck Island. Performing coastal cleanups is a reactive approach towards solving the problem, but it is the first step of making real change happen in a positive way. Solid momentum now exists for achieving our ultimate goal of clean shorelines for Aquidneck Island such as senior projects, exhibits, Art projects, workshops and a general conversation within the community that we want to improve ocean health. Check our events page for upcoming events and enjoy the weekend!
Jim Perrier who for many years led the charge of Friends of the Water Front will be acknowledged at a dedication at the State Pier right next to Mary Ferrazzoli Park and certificate on honor will be shared. COA will be down at the Newport Ship Yard on Saturday for the 5th annual Newport SUP CUP and we’ll be sending a team over to the State Pier to clean it up, especially after what we might see this afternoon.
We are lucky to live near the beach and live a life connected to the ocean. Your effort to take good care of the ocean affect people’s lives every day, around the world. While many of us enjoy the spectacular recreational activities that oceans offer, keeping oceans healthy keeps people healthy, and we each have a personal responsibility to protect our oceans. | Today we are hosting a coastal cleanup at 2nd Beach Surfers End around 5PM, everyone is welcome, bring your family, friends and neighbors (and in a few weeks you can also bring your dog!).
Today we hosted our 3rd cleanup at Pheasant Drive Beach and met Leslie and Dennis from the area who heard about our initiative from the local newspapers. Four people and a dog removed 61 pounds of trash on a beautiful Wednesday afternoon. As we were leaving a family showed up, asked what we were doing and asked if they could get a trash bag to help out. A good day, to meet 2 new folks and inspiring a family to leave the place looking better than they arrived… clean+ocean+access
Access to the shoreline is where Clean Ocean Access started in January 2006. Since that time we have formally adopted 6 rights of way with CRMC as of December 2013 and are actively monitoring and working to adopt 8 additional CRMC rights of way. This process takes time and we are also exploring our long term goals for public access that reach far beyond each access point. In 2015 we will be looking to expand our program in Newport, Middletown and Portsmouth in the years in accordance with Rhode Island Constitution, Article I, Section 17. If you would like to get involved in monitoring public access, making sure it lasts forever, let us know. Thank you.
Today we talked with a reporter and it made the 2nd news feature on the nightly news
On August 13th we performed another cleanup at Pheasant Drive Beach in Portsmouth and removed 47 pounds of trash. It was raining at the start and the sun came out at the end. A Portsmouth high school student doing his senior project on running a small business has added “philanthropy” to his business and raised $100 dollars and donated it to Clean Ocean Access. He is running a lemonade stand at farmer’s markets and his tag line is “When Life Gives You Lemons… Give Them Back”. This was the highlight especially after removing all sorts of junk from such a beautiful stretch of coastline.
Today we had an opportunity to share the COA message with kids from the local Boys & Girls Club at the Newport Shipyard as part of a larger initiative by Sea keepers to educate the kids on ocean health and marine pollution. We gave each kid a blue marble and tweaked the blue mind approach. Instead of it being about gratitude, it was about “being responsible”. Each kid has to do 10 things to demonstrate they know what it means to take good care of the environment, and then pass on the marble to someone else, sharing what they did, and asking the next person to do the similar things. All good stuff…
Doing a coastal cleanup is pretty easy. Show up with a few bags and a few friends, pick up some trash, feel good about it, walk away and you are done. Working to improve ocean health and eliminating debris from our shoreline requires a committed long term effort. COA is up for this challenge. Last week we conducted our first weekly cleanup at Pheasant Drive Beach and removed 45 pounds of marine debris. This included 94 food wrappers, 39 straws, 36 plastic bottles and 50 cigarette butts. Unusual items included a back pack, garbage can full of shredded Styrofoam, a chair, lids to paint cans and a few car parts. Stay tuned for a complete listing of 2014/2015 schedule of events that expands our core programs (CLEAN, OCEAN, ACCESS) up the island to make sure we work hard to make this a great place to live and work.
Asking for more concrete on the cliff walk is not an easy thing to say, traditionally speaking keeping the cliff walk natural would be ideal but finding the balance for safety, accessibility and protecting the natural beauty and primitive ruggedness is a delicate balance. There is a section that has some deteriorating walls that didn’t make the plans for the cliff walk repairs but we are hopeful that we can get this included in the next project (fortification of a section near Around the Corner along with the section that critically needs it between Webster and Narragansett).
Last Thursday the Easton’s Beach Stream and Marine Avenue Beach had unacceptable levels of bacteria. Every Thursday we collect 9 (nine) water samples and deliver them to the Rhode Island Department of Health for laboratory analysis for Enterococci (the bacteria associated with warm-blooded animal waste such as humans and deer). We’ve been doing this exact program since 2008 and the original program started in 2006, we test the waters all year-long, every week. The worst thing… on this graph is that we missed the test at Ruggles, with a 100% volunteer organization, this can happen. However, if you know anyone who would like to help with water sampling, it would be great to get them involved to be a back-up resource when we need help. In 3 weeks the beach season ends, water quality isn’t tested again until Memorial Day, but our program continues every week because of your help.
After the cliff walk repairs project finished recently we’ve been monitoring the entire cliff walk (as part of a new idea that we’ve had initial positive feedback from CRMC) and shared our findings with the cliff walk commission and the department of transportation. Fortunately we have a great relationship with everyone involved and this section of new railing that just started rusting will be fixed. The key thing is that this section has the highest wave impact, even with 2 …foot swells with a high tide, this section has wave action while the rest of the railing really only sees water if the waves are big. DOT mentioned that in talking to the Design team, the rusting/water infiltration issue is planned to be addressed with added rubber plugs to keep the water out, with some cleanup work to be done before their installation. So this is good news, we found a little issues and it will be addressed before it becomes too much bigger. If you like walking on the coastline, you are a perfect candidate to help with our access program
With the uptick of visitor traffic with the recently opened cliff walk the fence is falling apart at Ruggles. In the past 2 years our public access monitoring program has reported a similar issue and the City of Newport has fixed the post foundations in 2 sections. We recently reported another post (as shown) and the City is going to fix the post. This is a good partnership where the volunteers who monitor the access points and coastline bring to attention issues that can get fixed before they require costlier solutions. We currently are monitoring 14 rights of ways and plan to expand to 50 in the next 2 years, this will be possible with your help. If you’d like to get involved, let us know.
This has been a popular question so we did some research. The dumpster in the far east lot is used for storage of the seaweed that is raked off the beach. Once the dumpster is full (and it is pretty close) it is taken to RI nursery for composting. This is good although the smell is quite strong. We are going to ask if some signage can be put in place near the dumpster to explain its purpose rather than people thinking it is trash. On a big scale picture, our Seaweed Nutrient Analysis Program (SNAP) begs the bigger question as to why we have so much macro algae and whether the nutrients coming from the watershed are resulting in the abundance and persistence of seaweed on our beaches. If you would like to help with these activities, let us know, it takes a community to make things happen!
We are looking for volunteers for three of our programs.
- Water Quality | If water free of bacteria is important to you, you can be part of the solution and help to collect a water sample on Thursday morning between 6AM and 8AM. It takes 30 minutes door to door.
- Seaweed | If reducing the amount of seaweed is important to you, you can be part of the solution and help to test the water anytime during the week using a simple lab kit. It takes about 60 minutes.
- Public Access | If getting to the coastline is import to you, you can be part of the solution and help to monitor a right of way anytime during the week with a simple form. It takes about 15 minutes.
Get in touch with us via email at firstname.lastname@example.org