Nearly 100 people turned out to Revere Beach for a great afternoon of original music and environmental action at the Berklee at the Beach event, jointly hosted by the Surfrider Foundation Massachusetts Chapter and Spring Oceanography Class at the Berklee School of Music.
Five groups of Berklee students performed a concert of original music composed specifically for this event, and designed to raise awareness about key issues in ocean protection. Topics ranged from sea turtles and seals to the pernicious threat of plastic marine debris. Check out the recording of The Ocean Song composed and performed by Berklee Participant Sophia Lanuza!
The concert was followed by one of the largest and best-attended beach cleanups that the Massachusetts Chapter has organized yet! In just over 90 minutes of collecting and sorting on Revere Beach, the cleanup participants removed:
- 10 pounds of thin film plastic, mostly bags and food wrappers
- 18.5 pounds of construction materials
- 11 pounds of derelict fishing gear and synthetic lines
- 40 additional pounds of other random trash including:
- 174 Cigarette Butts
- 149 Bottle Caps
- 64 Plastic Straws
- 49 Plastic Beverage Containers
- Uncountably Many Little Microplastic Bits
(On a much brighter note, attendees also consumed 75 low-plastic, homemade chocolate chip cookies, made from bulk bin ingredients and delivered in reusable containers!)
The trash was collected despite regular efforts from State Department of Conservation and Recreation crews to rake and tidy this heavily used urban beach. As DCR Ranger Matt noted, more debris comes in with every tide cycle, and still more turns up with every storm.
Revere Beach is also in the district of Massachusetts House Speaker Robert DeLeo, who will be a key figure in the Mass Chapter's campaign to pass a statewide ban on plastic checkout bags. We are planning to use the results of this local cleanup to provide further evidence of the need for statewide action to start breaking our addiction to disposable plastics.
As with all beach cleanups, the full benefits are not just in the trash removed, but in the lessons taken away by the attendees. It is sad that we need to do this work, but also heartening to see so many interested and dedicated people, especially families with children and students, join us in this cleanup and education effort.
The Massachusetts Chapter firmly believes in the power of using every means of communication to spread our environmental message. This collaboration with the Berklee School of Music truly opens up a new dimension of possibilities. We're thrilled at how things turned out and looking forward growing this collaboration further next year!
A special thanks goes out to our Surfrider volunteers (Mark, Maggie, Ysis, and Alex), the class from Berklee (led by Professor Jenn), and Matt from DCR for all of their help and support!