Fells’ COASTSWEEP 2019: Continuing the Annual Conservation Tradition

On Saturday September 21st, volunteers from across the area braved the balmy end-of-summer weather to participate in the 2019 COASTSWEEP shoreline cleanup event in the Fells, joining like-minded individuals across the globe for the annual International Coastal Cleanup day of service.

Participants of all ages spent the morning gathering trash along the shores of Quarter Mile Pond and Spot Pond in Medford and Stoneham.  Trash was gathered and sorted by the bagful, and the data carefully recorded on what exactly was collected from the Fells.  This data will be collated and analyzed by the Ocean Conservancy in Washington D.C. along with other cleanup reports from across the globe, and will help in creating effective environmental education and policy initiatives in the future.

In just one morning, volunteers were able to collect 22 bags of trash, weighing in at nearly 150 lbs! Hundreds of bottles, food wrappers, cigarette butts, and plastic pieces were the bulk of the collected garbage, but many yards of fishing line, styrofoam bait containers, filled dog waste bags, and discarded clothing were also common finds.  One piece of unique local litter to be found were lost hockey pucks (although not surprising considering the location of the cleanup!).

Volunteer service projects such as COASTSWEEP are crucial to the health of our wild spaces, and this is especially true of the water ecosystems that exist in close proximity to dense urban areas and roadways, where garbage collects extremely quickly.  But beyond the immediate impacts, public events such as this also demonstrate the communal benefits that can grow ‘organically’ out of conservation work:  a number of COASTSWEEP participants this year were just walkers and hikers that happened to be passing by, had not heard about the cleanup project, but were motivated to pitch in just by seeing the work that the other volunteers were doing!

Below is a gallery of the great work accomplished at COASTSWEEP ’19!

Thank you to all the volunteers that participated in this year’s COASTSWEEP!  Your efforts helped make this another successful cleanup event!


The Friends of the Fells welcomes volunteers of all ages and experience levels!  Interested in volunteering, or have a service project to propose?  Fill out our volunteer questionnaire:


Volunteer with the Friends of the Fells

Or contact Jesse at Jesse.Macdonald@fells.org.


COASTSWEEP is sponsored by the Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management (CZM), and is part of Ocean Conservancy’s International Coastal Cleanup, where volunteers worldwide collect marine debris and record data to help identify its sources and develop education and policy initiatives to reduce it…

COASTSWEEP is more than a beach cleanup. As part of COASTSWEEP, volunteers help address future problems by filling out data cards to show what they’ve collected. These cards are sent to Ocean Conservancy in Washington, DC, where the information is entered into a massive database. The data are then used to analyze the local and international trends in marine debris and identify its sources to help reduce the problem in the future.

For more information: