By Mary Walton
Girl Scout leader Lee Warner came from Ocean Township with four members of Troop 1095.
Micah Espina, 18, a Neptune resident, signed up to get credit for a service learning project to satisfy a Brookdale College requirement.
And Manalapan High School seniors Tyler Ahlf and Tom Garcia, both 17, said they volunteered as project captains because they value the environment. Garcia belongs to the National Honor Society, as does Ahlf, who is also a member of SAVE, an environmental club.
The occasion was the annual Beach Sweep sponsored by Clean Ocean Action. At towns up and down the shore, volunteers registered at tables where snacks and drinks were on hand, then donned gloves and headed out to the beach armed with two plastic bags for garbage and recyclables. They also had paperwork to fill out, dividing what they collected into categories.
By 10 a.m. on Saturday, 19 volunteers had descended on Ocean Grove, with the largest contingent from Manalapan High. Among them were Leann Heredia, 14, and Renee Blanco, 15. “We just do it to help,” Leann said. And also for extra curriculum points.
Grovers themselves were noticeably MIA.
There would have been more students, Ahlf said, but “today’s a big testing day.” In a contest between cleaning up the beach and the PSATs, the beach didn’t have a chance.