Press Release: Volunteers Collect Nearly 300 Pounds of Marine Debris Despite Freezing Temperatures

Volunteers walk along Second Beach to collect marine debris and litter. (Photo credit: Hugh Fanning)

MIDDLETOWN — On Saturday, February 9, 2019, Clean Ocean Access (COA) hosted a cleanup at Sachuest Beach, locally known as Second Beach, overlooking the beautiful Sachuest Bay. The south facing beach is a family friendly go-to with good surf and great sand.

58 volunteers braved the freezing temperatures and gusts of wind to collect a whopping 290 pounds of marine debris from the Sachuest Beach coastline. Volunteers, including several students from Salve Regina University and residents from across Aquidneck Island, spent the afternoon cleaning up the locally loved beach and popular tourist location, while exercising their public right to access the shoreline.

Located along the famous Cliff Walk, surrounded by sweeping views of the ocean, Salve Regina University offers students a coastal experience unlike any other. Whether moved by a social media post or motivated by their love of the ocean, many students felt compelled to do their part and participate in the cleanup at Second Beach this past weekend.

“A big part of being at Salve is the ocean, especially as we’re right on the Cliff Walk. If the ocean is ruined others will not have the same opportunity to enjoy it as we do now,” reflects Faith Lambert, a student at Salve Regina.

Volunteers collected over 442 individual items of marine and litter across two miles of shoreline, including 82 plastic and glass bottles, 54 caps and lids, 52 food wrappers and containers.

Nathaniel Crocker (left) and PJ McNamara, students from Salve Regina University. (photo credit: Hugh Fanning)

“Pollution is a growing concern, especially here in Rhode Island. We just came out to do our part because we know how important it is; it starts with the little things and works its way back up. Cleaning up the beach is the least we can do,” said PJ McNamara, a biology major at Salve Regina University.

COA’s beach cleanups are made possible by the generous sponsorship of People’s Credit Union and their support of a clean local economy. Their sponsorship helps fund the beach cleanup program and by supplying volunteers with cleanup kits that include grabbers, gloves, reusable bags, scales and clipboards.

The 2019 beach cleanup schedule is available online: COA also actively seeks volunteers to join the flexible cleanup program. If you are interested in adopting a section of Sachuest Point to clean on a flexible monthly basis sign up online: or email