Annual Erie Coast Event Cleans Away 61,000-Plus Items

The Takeaway: Trash findings spurred policy changes that leave beaches cleaner.

An initiative co-led by the state’s coastal management program, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, is doing something about litter. This effort started in 2003 and is now operating at 17 sites and at local schools. Trash pickup results are showing a gradual decline in the amount of trash gathered each year. The decline stems partly from policy changes based on the earlier cleanup data. For example, cigarette butts traditionally were the top trash item, so cigarette butt containers were installed at parks, and several beaches were designated as no-smoking areas. (2017)

Partners: Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, Pennsylvania Sea Grant