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Connecting Our Coastline in 2021: A Cleanup Initiative

2021 Year End Update: We ended 2021 with 49 reported cleanups, 678 pounds of trash removed, more than 15,600 individual items logged! We're proud to have engaged at least 253 volunteers in 39 out of 66 different coastal communities in MA. Thank you so much for your help and support!

While we didn't quite make it to every coastal city and town this year, a ton of good work was done as part of this initiative. We're trying again in 2022, so please check out the updated Connecting Our Coastline page and send us some cleanup data!

The Surfrider Foundation Massachusetts Chapter is thrilled to announce Connecting our Coastline 2021, a year-long beach cleanup initiative to help people connect to the Bay State's long and diverse coastline.

With the aid of fellow ocean lovers and supporters like you, the Chapter's goal is to receive at least one cleanup data report from every coastal city and town* in MA before the end of 2021.

As the weather and the pandemic (hopefully) both improve, Connecting our Coastline will create just one more reason for all people to get out to the coast to discover anew what there is to love, and what’s out there that is worth protecting.

Stay tuned to our events page or follow us on Instagram and Facebook! As the situation allows, we’re looking forward to welcoming you back to chapter-organized group cleanups soon. We’ll also use these platforms to provide regular updates on our collective progress towards Connecting our Coast.

In the meantime, you can help out by Doing-It-Yourself in just three easy steps:

  1. Download and print the datacard
  2. Grab you gear, get outside, and do the cleanup (Here's some more info to help you organize a safe and effective DIY Cleanup!)
  3. Return your data online

No worries if you can’t make it to the coast right away. Submitting cleanup data from parks, neighborhoods, and waterways close to home will still help you get outside and support the Surfrider Foundation’s environmental mission by adding to a critical citizen science dataset.

Why does the Connecting our Coastline matter?

Where the land meets the sea, our coast includes amazing natural beauty and thousands of years of rich cultural heritage. It is built from ecosystems that provide both essential wildlife habitat and many critical services to human residents. The Massachusetts coast offers opportunities for recreation and enjoyment to both locals and visitors, with coastal tourism and recreation generating more than $3.3 billion dollars in state domestic product and more than 70,000 jobs in 2015.

At the same time, our coastal communities are joined by many of the common challenges that they face on the ‘front line’, including sea-level rise, climate change, plastic pollution, contaminated water due to runoff, unequal access, and threats from offshore fossil fuel drilling and blasting. What can help us make progress on these big problems together?

Perhaps enjoying and learning about a new stretch of our coast and thus inspiring ourselves to action. Maybe making some personal connections in and among our coastal communities as you help with a cleanup. It helps to remind ourselves that the coast and sea should be a treasured resource for all people. And certainly, collecting and building your own stories and experiences to share with others and to amplify a message, so that what you’ve learned does not end with you.

Connecting Our Coastline 2021. Please join us!

For more information OR if you/your organization are interested in participating in Connecting Our Coast 2021, please contact the Surfrider Foundation Massachusetts Chapter.

*Our List of 'Coastal Communities'

We fully admit that ‘coastal community’ is a bit of a fuzzy term – sometimes, it’s more just a state of mind. Rather than delving too deeply into highly technical scientific or socioeconomic characterizations, we’ve crafted the following list of 66 ‘coastal’ Massachusetts cities and towns for Connecting Our Coast 2021.

If you have any thoughts, opinions or feel your community has been left out, please get in touch and let us know! We’d be especially open to the idea of modifying the list if your comments are accompanied by a cleanup data report.

The MA Chapter fully understands that nearly everything connects to the ocean eventually, and our work with communities all across this state is a strong indication of this. As long as the ocean means something special to you, embrace your ‘coastal’ state of mind!

  • Aquinnah
  • Barnstable
  • Beverly
  • Boston
  • Bourne
  • Braintree
  • Brewster
  • Chatham
  • Chelsea
  • Chilmark
  • Cohasset
  • Danvers
  • Dartmouth
  • Dennis
  • Duxbury
  • Eastham
  • Edgartown
  • Essex
  • Fairhaven
  • Fall River
  • Falmouth
  • Gloucester
  • Gosnold
  • Harwich
  • Hingham
  • Hull
  • Ipswich
  • Kingston
  • Lynn
  • Manchester-by-the-Sea
  • Marblehead
  • Marion
  • Marshfield
  • Mashpee
  • Mattapoisett
  • Milton
  • Nahant
  • Nantucket
  • New Bedford
  • Newbury
  • Newburyport
  • Oak Bluffs
  • Orleans
  • Plymouth
  • Provincetown
  • Quincy
  • Revere
  • Rockport
  • Rowley
  • Salem
  • Salisbury
  • Sandwich
  • Saugus
  • Scituate
  • Somerset
  • Swampscott
  • Swansea
  • Tisbury
  • Truro
  • Wareham
  • Wellfleet
  • West Tisbury
  • Westport
  • Weymouth
  • Winthrop
  • Yarmouth