About 4,500 volunteers, from Monmouth University students to members of the Hightstown High School Ecology Club, walked New Jersey's beaches Saturday, picking up litter.
The annual "beach sweep" events, held in spring and fall, are sponsored by the advocacy group, Clean Ocean Action. The group started in 1985 with 75 volunteers at Sandy Hook. Now, there are more than 72 locations along the Atlantic coast, from Manasquan to Cape May, as well as along other inland waterways.
In 2013, volunteers picked up 325,163 pieces of debris. The majority - 67 percent - was plastic. The haul included more than 32,000 cigarette filters, nearly 10,000 beverage bottles, and about 18,000 straws and stirrers.
The group's "roster of the ridiculous" litter last year included headphones, a car transmission, picket fencing, a toilet seat, a Barbie doll, various rubber ducks and dentures.
- Sandy Bauers