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State of New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection
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Ecological Health








  Bureau of Marine Water Monitoring


Program Overview

Clean Shores is a statewide program that removes floatables such as wood, garbage, medical waste and recyclables from tidal shorelines with the use of state inmate labor. Since its inception in 1989, the program has removed over 148 million pounds of floatables and cleaned and re-cleaned over 3100 miles of New Jersey's shorelines (see below graph). The funding for the Clean Shores program comes entirely from the sale of the Shore Protection "Shore to Please" motor vehicle license plates.

A Clean Shores work crew consists of 10 inmates, 1 state correctional officer, a site manager, and woodcutter provided by the NJDEP. The inmates have received special selection for outside work by the Department of Corrections and have full minimum status. On average, the crew works a 5-hour day arriving on site at 7:30am and leaving at 12:30pm. The below photos show an example of before and after a Clean Shores cleanup.



Miles of Beaches Cleaned and Pounds (in millions) of Floatables Removed per Year

Photo Credit: NJDEP





Before Clean Shores Cleanup

Photo Credit: NJDEP


After Clean Shores Cleanup

Photo Credit: NJDEP

Any municipality interested in sponsoring a cleanup is asked to provide roll off containers for the disposal of the removed floatables, a front end loader or dump truck with an operator for transporting the bulky wastes from the work crew to the roll off containers, a portable toilet, and a lunch for the inmates. The Program does provide, at no cost to the municipality, the inmate work crew, Correction Officers, DEP supervision, and woodcutters.

Aircraft Surveillance for Floatables

New Jersey is the only coastal state that performs routine aircraft surveillance in order to detect the presence of floatables in its coastal waters. The Department of Environmental Protection's plane flies along the State's coastline six days of each week during the summer months. Staff on board the plane search the waters for floatables and report sightings to local municipalities to coordinate cleanup if necessary.

Clean Shores Program Wins 2010 EPA Region 2 Environmental Quality Award. Click here for more information.

If you would be interested in sponsoring a cleanup or would like more information on the program please call (609) 273-6771.

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Last Updated: November 17, 2017