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Sustainable Maple Shade Helps Clean Up Petty Island at September Shoreline Sweep Event

A group from Sustainable Maple Shade represented the organization during the Petty’s Island Shoreline Sweep event in Pennsauken on Sept. 30. Volunteers spent the morning picking up trash that had washed up from the Delaware River. The cleanup, which happens two times a year, removes about 110 gallons of trash, according to Kelly Wenzel, who organizes the cleanups on the island. Plastic bottles, paper and aluminum wrappers and plastic cups are the most frequently found items on the island.


During the recent clean up, Sustainable Maple Shade members learned that although the island has a long history of industrial use, it was donated in 2009 by its owner CITGO to the NJ Natural Lands Trusts. Previously, the trust removed “tons” of trash that was pulled from the river, Wenzel said, but now the event works to maintain the area. Tides and winds still pull in trash, so the ongoing events make sure the island is clean for visitors as well as wildlife. The island is set to be turned into a nature reserve with an educational center, as it is home to a large array of wildlife including American Bald Eagles. Access to Petty’s Island is only permitted on a scheduled program. To learn more about Petty’s Island visit: https://aquaticsciences.org/pettys-island/

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