Cleaning up the Roger community

A great point of interest for many students is RWU’s participation in environmental awareness and cleanliness. Just this Saturday, Sept. 28, the university held a coastal cleanup next to Mt. Hope Bridge on Pebble Beach. 

The event was hosted by the Feinstein Center for Service Learning and Community Engagement, who teamed up with the Save the Bay and Ocean Conservancy, a group that holds annual International Coastal Cleanups. The RWU Eco-Reps also helped co-sponsor the event.

The event started at 1 p.m. and ended around 3 p.m. A total of 56 volunteers participated in the event. Some individuals were there the entire time while others trickled in and out. Director of the Feinstein Center and advisor present, K.C. Ferrara, said this was the biggest turnout she had seen as they usually only receive 10 or so volunteers.

During this event, volunteers dispersed into groups with their friends or new acquaintances. In each group, one person had a sheet with the most commonly found trash listed. It was this individual’s job to tally off what trash he/she found as their partner or partners collected the trash. 

Recording the garbage found is important for two reasons. First, it absolves students as there is trash found that doesn’t belong to them. Ferrara stated over the years she’s found a TV set, bed frame and diapers. Second, this data is used to record the trash and figure out what the major pollutants are around the shores.

At the end of the program, volunteers weighed the filled trash bags to see how much garbage was collected. The Coastal Cleanup is held to help clean our beaches and so that conservations companies can also figure out what trash is more likely to end up on our shores. 

While this event hosted by Ocean Conservancy is annual, the Feinstein Center always has the equipment available to host a beach cleanup. Students can ask to hold a cleanup whenever they want and the Center is willing to help with advertising.