Earth day and Coastsweeps

Estuaries Live, CoastSweep, & Estuaries Day Info


Coastsweep is the Annual Statewide Beach Cleanup held in Massachusetts. Coastsweep is actually part of an international campaign organized by The Ocean Conservancy in Washington, DC. Participants all over the world collect marine debris and record the types of trash they collect. This information is then used to help reduce future marine debris problems.

The Massachusetts Coastsweep program is sponsored by the Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management (CZM), and the Urban Harbors Institute of UMass Boston. COASTSWEEP, now in its 29th year, will kick off September 24, 2016 with additional cleanups on other dates. Thousands of volunteers throughout Massachusetts participate each year. To get involved in future cleanups or to get other COASTSWEEP information, go to the COASTSWEEP website at

Various organizations or individuals organize cleanups of local beaches, and beach cleanup packages are available for coordinators. In past years, the citizen group, the Buzzards Bay Coalition has participated in Coastsweep, although more recently the Coalition has focussed on other public events. Information on other organized beach cleanups in Buzzards Bay and around Massachusetts are posted at the UMass Mass Boston Coastsweeps site map.

Estuaries Day

In recent years, September is designated Estuaries Month and National Estuaries Day is designated as the last Saturday of September. In 2011 National Estuaries Day will be on September 24th.

National Estuaries Day is a government and private collaboration to celebrate the importance of estuaries in the United States and the need to protect them. Local communities across the country celebrate their estuaries with a variety of special events, most of them hosted by NOAA’s National Estuarine Research Reserves and EPA’s National Estuary Programs. Information about estuaries day is available from the website. In 2011, National Estuaries Day is on Saturday, September 24th.

Estuaries Live!

Estuaries Live! was an interactive internet virtual field trip event that has been held every September in the days leading up Estuaries Day. No Estuaries Live! events have been held for several years. It was a free interactive broadcast experience accessible via the Internet for classrooms and individuals around the country. Students and individuals had the opportunity to participate by submitting online questions for scientists and other experts. The program was hosted by different estuaries, and includes live interactive 50 minute field trips to various sites around the country. In 2004, the Buzzards Bay National Estuary Program participated in an Estuaries Live! with our neighboring Waquoit Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve in Falmouth, Massachusetts.

There is also a teacher’s curriculum in support of the program at the teachers curriculum page.

The 2004 What’s An Estuary? campaign

In 2004, the goal of the “What’s An Estuary? Now You Know.” campaign was to make “estuary” an everyday household word, like “river” or “ocean.” EPA maintains a link of the Campaign’s Outreach Tools CD (videos, public service announcements, etc.) produced by this initiative. More Info.

Below are the “What’s An Estuary PSAs” that were produced. Radio stations were encouraged to broadcast one of the three public service announcements below as part of the What’s an Estuary campaign. (Click to open the files in your browser’s audio player program). These PSAs have the Buzzards Bay NEP tag at the end.

Country Music Version (980 kb mp3 file)

Rhythm and Blues Music Version (980 kb mp3 file)

Hip Hop Music Version (980 kb mp3 file)

Resources for Kids and Students

US EPA’s Safe Water Kids Page

US EPA’s Environmental Kids Club

NOAA education Page for Students

Buzzards Bay Coalition Kids Newsletter (Vol 6 #2) includes games, puzzles, etc (pdf file)

Buzzards Bay Coalition Kids Newsletter (Vol 7 #1) includes games, puzzles, etc (pdf file)

Other Useful Links

NOAA education Page for Teachers

US EPA Environmental Education website

Massachusetts Marine Educators Links Page