How Love Blue Is Making Waves in the Community

Since campus is just one mile from the beach, it’s hard not to indulge in all the benefits seaside living has to offer. You can often find Monmouth University students walking on the boardwalk, laying out on the sand, and enjoying the waves. But what happens when people take the beautiful scenery for granted? Every year, over 14 tons of plastic waste ends up in the ocean as neglectful beachgoers let their trash fly away or left to rot in the sand.

Love Blue Inc. is an organization dedicated to cleaning up the oceans. The Love Blue mission statement posted on their website states, “We are the Guardians of the Oceans, conserving our oceans through community outreach programs & organized beach cleanups.”

Love Blue Inc. has pulled 31,481 pounds of trash from the oceans, has over 22k volunteer hours, and been active in 397 cleanups. They offer a wide range of programs to make a positive impact on the oceans and beaches. Some of their initiatives include beach cleanups and conservation efforts, giving individuals the opportunity to contribute to the wellbeing of the marine ecosystems. Getting involved with Love Blue creates a passionate community of individuals dedicated to protecting and preserving the oceans.

Love Blue Inc. offers a variety of ways for people to get involved including school clubs, community chapters, public clean-up stations, and internship opportunities. Monmouth University is one of six schools that have a Love Blue club. The Monmouth chapter is currently in its seventh semester as a club after holding its first cleanup in the fall of 2021 with the founders of Love Blue Inc. present. The club was officially recognized on campus in the spring of 2022 with Mia Najd, a then-junior studying marine and environmental biology and policy as club president.

Katie Marshall, current club president and junior studying marine and environmental biology and policy, provided some statistics on this past fall semester’s success. In its sixth semester, the club hosted 5 cleanups. Their first cleanup was held on October 8th collecting 85 pounds of trash with 35 volunteers present. They continued to host beach cleanups throughout the fall semester, in which they collected a total of 376 pounds of trash with the assistance of 147 volunteers. Monmouth’s chapter of Love Blue participated in The Big Event and collaborates with other clubs and Greek life on campus. This past semester they partnered with Kappa Sigma, AXID, the surf club, and the volunteering club.

Love Blue also likes to make their cleanups fun by giving them themes like their Halloween costume contest, cleanups during sunset, and partnering with Monmouth faculty. They also gain support from local businesses in the community with prizes and refreshments provided by the Herd Juicery, Jack’s Goal Line Stand, and Tak Waterman. Their cleanups tend to last around an hour, cleaning the beaches just one mile from campus.

Love Blue has created a new opportunity for students who are frequent beachgoers to students who might just be getting interested in the beach to come together. Kylie Schadt, a junior and Love Blue Social Chair shared, “Holding beach cleanups is a great way to bring the Monmouth community together while doing good for the environment. It’s always awesome to see how many people come out and watch friendships be formed.”

Being located so close to the ocean it is especially important for Monmouth students to understand their impact on the environment. Kendal O’Neill, a junior and Love Blue Vice President, believes, “It is important to better the beaches to keep ‘Monmouth’s backyard’ clean as well as help the environment.” Monmouth students can frequently be seen enjoying all the beaches have to offer, putting in time to help beautify the beaches enhances the beach experience for all shore residents.

This semester Love Blue needs your help! On Mar. 6, the club will launch their crowdfunding account for donations to assist in the purchasing of permits needed to hold beach cleanups on the Long Branch beaches. More information about the club can be found on Monmouth University’s student engagement website under clubs and organizations and then the special interest tab. To stay up to date with Monmouth’s chapter of Love Blue, follow them on Instagram @lovebluemonmouth.