Newly-released findings show many people still treat New Jersey's coastline as a dumping ground.

dirty beach - Sandy Hook
Townsquare Media photo

Two official 'beach sweeps' conducted by Clean Ocean Action (COA) in 2013 resulted in the collection and removal of more than 325,000 pieces of debris.

"We can only imagine what would happen if the numbers reflected an entire year of data collection," said COA's Catie Tobin at a Thursday morning press conference, noting the cleanup events totaled just seven hours.

The majority of the debris removed during the spring and fall events was disposable plastics.

"Debris ends up on our beaches and in our ocean due to littering or improper disposal by people enjoying those beaches," added Cassandra Ornell, COA staff scientist. "However, debris can also be carried during storm events over impervious surfaces, like roads and parking lots; and enter storm drains which discharge to the ocean."

As a direct result of Superstorm Sandy, according to the group, the amount of lumber pieces collected during 2013 more than doubled the amount of 2012.

Some unusual items discovered on Jersey's beaches include a toilet seat, ketchup containers, a propane heater, a cash register drawer, a hospital bed and vinyl records.

Another cleanup session is scheduled for Saturday, Apr. 26 at over 70 sites along the Jersey shore. Click here to register as a volunteer.

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