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A CLEAN SWEEP Clean Ocean Action scours N.J. beaches and finds handcuffs, dentures and cash
By TRUDI GILFILLIAN Staff Writer, (609) 463-6716, E-Mail

NORTH WILDWOOD - Still looking for grandpa's false teeth? Check the beach.

That's where volunteers found, among other things, half a set of dentures, 12 car bumpers, a pair of handcuffs, $135.08 in cash ($110 of it was found in Wildwood) and 35 full, yes full, cans of beer.

The unusual items combined with the more common cigarette filters, soda cans and plastics of all kinds were collected during Clean Ocean Action's annual Beach Sweeps.

On Wednesday, the group released its latest report on what made its way from store shelves to the state's beaches in 2003. The information will make its way into national statistics presented at the International Coastal Cleanup Conference.

Anthony Totah, the group's southern New Jersey coordinator, explained that the Beach Sweeps collect the trash often hidden on New Jersey's beaches and draw attention to marine pollution.

Last year, 4,622 volunteers armed with data cards compiled information from 114 locations across New Jersey. They picked up 242,714 pieces of debris ranging from batteries and socks to firecrackers and crayons.

Totah said the bulk of the problem was land-based debris often coming from beach visitors or from outfall lines connected to city streets.

Topping the list are the dirty dozen, the 12 items that made up 65 percent of the debris. They included cigarette filters, a host of plastic goods from caps and lids to drink bottles, foam plastic pieces, lumber, paper, cans, glass bottles and plastic knives, forks and spoons.

Standing on the fishing pier at the Hereford Inlet here, Totah said the environmental group was especially concerned with the number of balloons making their way into the state's waters.

Last year, 4,228 Mylar and rubber balloons with and without string were found.

A balloon digested by a marine animal sits in the animal's stomach, preventing it from eating and eventually the animal starves, he said.

Ropes, nets, fishing line and other items that can entangle dolphins, seals and sea turtles are also a growing problem.

Totah next walked to the nearby beach and conducted a minisweep of his own. In less than a minute, he found a plastic bottle, Styrofoam cup, string and cigarette filters galore.

"People end up trashing the place they've come to enjoy," Totah said, suggesting beach towns would make more money offering free parking and fining visitors for littering.

The next Beach Sweeps are scheduled for April 24 rain or shine.
 

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That's where volunteers found, among other things, half a set of dentures, 12 car bumpers, a pair of handcuffs , $135.08 in cash ($110 of it was found in Wildwood) and 35 full, yes full, cans of beer.
Anyone know where I could get them back ?? :D ;)
 

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The people from CLEAN OCEAN ACTION do a little good sometime, but are a bunch of commie pinko rats. THEY ARE THE ENEMY OF ALL RECREATIONAL FISHERMEN. They are on par with the Audubon Society. They also support MPS's and beach closures. I think they also sleep with PIPING PLOVERS.
 
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