The Salve Regina University women’s soccer team helping eliminate marine debris at the Point Section cleanup in Newport, RI.

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On Saturday, April 6, 2019, Clean Ocean Access (COA) hosted two cleanups to kick-off Earth Month and celebrate another marina trash skimmer season on Aquidneck Island. COA hosted a cleanup at Bailey’s Brook in Portsmouth in collaboration Rhode Island Vegan Awareness (RIVA), featuring a sustainable bake sale with vegan sweets and treats. COA also hosted a public tour of the marina trash skimmer at Perrotti Park, followed by a Point Section cleanup in downtown Newport.

The Bailey’s Brook cleanup gathered dozens of volunteers, including Miss New England Earth United States 2018, Isabella Bennett, and Elite Miss Rhode Island 2018 Laura Barlow. Together with 55 volunteers from across Aquidneck Island, the Ocean State beauties and environmental activists helped collect 469 pounds of marine debris to keep their local environment clean and healthy for generations to come.

“It was wonderful to kick-off Earth Month by joining Clean Ocean Access and Rhode Island Vegan Awareness to help organize this great cleanup and vegan bake sale,” said Laura Barlow, president and founder of RIVA. “The event highlights how our everyday choices impact our Earth. Whether attending a cleanup, reducing your plastic or making sustainable food choices, there are so many ways that you can make a positive difference.”

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Midtown Oyster Bar

COA also hosted a public tour of the marina trash skimmer located in Newport Harbor, sponsored by bioprocessH2O and in partnership with the City of Newport. The tour of the technology was followed by a cleanup along the Point Section area, which gathered 37 volunteers who removed 48 pounds of marine debris COA’s marina trash skimmer program is made possible by 11th Hour Racing, and our education and outreach efforts are supported by the Amgen Foundation and the Island Foundation.

“I am a sailor, so the ocean means a lot to me,” said Sophia, a student from St. Philomena School in Portsmouth. “I want the ocean to be healthy so adults and kids can enjoy the water and not have to worry about getting sick from poor water quality or ocean pollution.” Sophia was joined by her classmate Julia Paige, who was also at the cleanup doing community service work through the school.

Among the volunteers at the Point Section cleanup included the Salve Regina University women’s soccer team, who helped eliminate marine debris and improve coastal water quality in their local environment.

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: http://www.cleanoceanaccess.org/calendar/. COA actively seeks volunteer photographers to capture our weekend cleanups, as well as 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: www.cleanoceanaccess.org/action/volunteer/ or email jessica.frascotti@cleanoceanaccess.org.

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