Last updateWed, 24 Feb 2021 1pm

Club & Greek

The Surf Club Cleans Pullman Ave. Beach

Surf Club CleansIn the United States alone, people contribute up to 242 million pounds of plastic trash into the ocean every year, according to USA Today.

In an attempt to stem the tide of this damage, preserve local marine mammals and wildlife, the Monmouth University Surf Club organized a beach clean-up on Pullman Avenue in Long Branch on Saturday Oct. 12th.

As the club came together on this beautiful sun-filled Saturday, they were all in high spirits and ready to make a difference in cleaning the local beach. The mood suddenly shifted when they realized how bad the situation really was.  The club split up into groups to tackle the most amount of trash possible, but they quickly realized this was a lot worse than they had anticipated.

After 5 minutes of scanning the beach, bags rapidly started filling with trash that was washed up onto the shores. Objects ranging from large boxes and fishing wires, to smaller pieces of trash, such as straws and bottle caps were stuffing the bags until they were full.

After cleaning the beach in one direction, the group realized that on their way back the beach would be recovered with plastic debris. “As surfers we spend a lot of time in and around Long Branch,” Vice President of the club Luke Gilpin stated. “We have noticed that certain areas are much more polluted than others.”

Pullman Avenue which is located off of Ocean Avenue is one of these highly polluted beaches according to the club members. “We surf here a lot and it’s sad to see the damages the plastic pollution is causing in this one spot alone,” a local surfer said.

After picking up the plastic and trash off the shore for over an hour, the club successfully filled 10 bags of trash. In total, around 20 members showed up to help with this clean-up, along with members of the community that joined in when they saw what the club was doing. “This is a really great thing you guys are doing, thank you for coming out here,” one community member said. Making a difference by not only representing the school, but also representing the surf community is a very important aspect to the club and the events we do with one another.

Although there was much more plastic and trash than what was expected the team still went out together and made their impact on the community and our local beaches by picking up as much as they could within the hour. “This clean-up was not just for us, but for the community as well,” Club member Matthew McAndris said.

According to National Geographic, a shocking 91 percent of plastic is not fully recycled. Although this is the root of the problem, making small steps to fix the damage that is done plays an important role in the club where the members are very invested in this situation.    

Jessica Henry, who is in the process of creating a vegan club on campus called Friends of Animals at Monmouth, helped out with the clean-up. “It was great to come out and help with the beach clean-up,” said Henry. “There was so much being cleaned up, as the waves kept crashing- more and more trash washed up on shore,” Henry commented. “Plastic and it’s by-products are littering our oceans, water, and cities. It is also hurting the health of all beings,” she added.

The club is planning to organize another clean-up where they are hoping to have more members come out and participate.      As stated by the club members they want to get Monmouth involved and work on spreading the word for others who are just as passionate about this situation as they are. “This would be a great opportunity for new club members to meet each other and get to know one another,” president of the club Mike McMurry mentioned “we are hoping to have a good number of students come out and participate.”

For those who are interested in getting involved in the club can attend meetings held every Friday on the second floor of the student center. The next beach clean-up will be advertised around campus to get as many students involved as possible, confirmed the club leaders.

At the end of the clean-up on Saturday, the club members stood and reflected on the pile of trash in front of them. Seeing what the group had accumulated McMurry commented, “This is a danger to the environment, wildlife, and an eyesore for all.”

PHOTO TAKEN by Erin Maytola

Contact Information

The Outlook
Jules L. Plangere Jr. Center for Communication
and Instructional Technology (CCIT)
Room 260, 2nd floor

The Outlook
Monmouth University
400 Cedar Ave, West Long Branch, New Jersey

Phone: (732) 571-3481 | Fax: (732) 263-5151