Portsmouth, RI – On Saturday, November 11th, Clean Ocean Access organized two separate coastal cleanups in Portsmouth, one at Weaver Cove and the other at Melville Park, which consists of 153-acres of pond waterway, hardwood and pine forests, hiking trails, and substantial salt marsh areas.

Salt marshes are coastal wetlands that are crucial to the environmental health of the region, filtering nutrients and pollution from the water, protecting communities from rising sea level and harsh storms, supporting breeding grounds for commercially valuable fish, and offering recreational opportunities. COA hosts monthly coastal cleanups to ensure the health and vitality of these precious ecosystems for years to come.  

The cold temperatures over the weekend did not deter the 42 volunteers that helped collect a staggering 631 pounds of trash, including a vacuum cleaner, a tractor tire, a television, and over a dozen factory-sealed water bottles. Since 2014, COA has hosted eight cleanups at Weaver Cove in Portsmouth and removed a total of 5,596 pounds of trash. COA has hosted two cleanups at Melville Park since 2018, removing a total of 996 pounds of debris.

“I was amazed by how this section of land was used as a dumping site for anything and everything from giant tractor tires to an old television,” said Dr. Alan Gettman, a volunteer at the Melville Park cleanup. “It is really disheartening.”

The last two beach cleanups of the year will be held at Hull Cove on December 1st in Jamestown and Gull Cove on December 8th in Portsmouth. For more information and upcoming volunteer opportunities with Clean Ocean Access visit http://www.cleanoceanaccess.org/action/volunteer/.

Photo – Volunteers, Emanuel and Nanie, at Weaver Cove beach cleanup

Ryan Belmore is the Owner and Publisher of What's Up Newp. He was born and raised in Rhode Island and graduated from Coventry High School. He serves as Vice President of Fort Adams Trust and serves on the Board of Directors for Potter League for Animals. Ryan also is currently the Senior Editor - North America for Mountain News, publisher of OnTheSnow. Ryan is a member of Local Independent Online News (LION) Publishers and North American Snowsports Journalists Association (NASJA).