Sisters Julia Livingston and Trish Aldrich clean up Menemsha Beach each year in remembrance of their father. Alison L. Mead

The Vineyard Conservation Society's 22nd annual Earth Day beach cleanup inspired volunteers to pick up trash at nearly 25 Island beaches Saturday morning. Volunteers of all ages collected plastic bottles, fishing nets, balloon ribbon, driftwood and beer cans, among other things, filling up bags and and trucks full of trash. 

Volunteers at Squibnocket beach towed a huge fishing net off the beach by truck. Other finds were more disconcerting. "Sadly we find lots of beer cans and wine bottles and things that shouldn't be there," said Larry Lasser.

Sisters Trish Aldrich and Julia Livingston removed trash in remembrance of their father, whom they said loved Menemsha. Last weekend, Ms. Aldrich participated in a beach cleanup near Boston as well.

After the cleanup ended, volunteers celebrated their hard work at an after party at the Harbor View Hotel, enjoying food provided by the hotel and the Scottish Bakehouse while trucks gathered this year's bags of trash from beach parking lots. 

The conservation society sponsors the clean up each year in an effort to reduce the impact that beach trash has on the health of the ocean and its inhabitants. Tourism litter, fishing debris and waste from ships and boats all find their way to six different "garbage patches" in the earth's oceans.

"With beach clean-up efforts we not only reduce new inputs to the garbage patches but also chip away at what is already there," said the conservation society.

Multimedia Credit: 
Alison L. Mead

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