Clean up for Earth Day

If we wish to continue to enjoy the natural beauty of this coastal area, we all must work together toward the common goal of taking care of the environment.

Photo by Filip Urban on Unsplash
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Editor’s note: This is one in a continuing series of guest opinions about fostering environmental stewardship. The series is coordinated by ACES, the Alliance of Climate and Environmental Stewards.

If we wish to continue to enjoy the natural beauty of this coastal area, we all must work together toward the common goal of taking care of the environment.

This reality must be embraced by us all, though often it is not. There seems to be a lack of awareness about how our daily actions affect and even threaten our surroundings, by impacting the availability and quality of the food we eat, the water we drink, and the air we breathe. If we choose not to care for the environment, the consequences are many, including scarcity of clean water, increasing air pollution, and uncontrollable hazardous waste, all of which contribute to the permanent loss of biodiversity.

We are at a pivotal moment, one in which it is imperative to fully understand this important fact: we have nowhere else to go, no planet B.

Our personal interactions with the environment, the ways in which we use our natural resources, must be done responsibly and sustainably. The simple truth is that humanity exists because of what nature provides. We are part of nature, which means if nature disappears, we disappear along with it.  So, what can we do? Compost, recycle, use less and reuse more, but also clean up! If we work together to clean up along our roadsides, beaches, marshes, and parks, we can improve the coastal and ocean ecosystems. Roadside trash ultimately finds its way into our waters. Just take a walk along the river to see the evidence in plain sight, gathered in the sea grass: plastics, trash of all kinds, even the occasional tire. We must ensure that none of that trash kills marine life or disrupts the aquatic life cycle. Our lives depend on it. 

So many decisions we make can help keep our communities clean, including being conscious of how and where we dispose of our waste. 

Please make an effort to clean up wherever you are and wherever you go. There are several opportunities to get involved in an organized beach, marsh, or park cleanup this spring, and if those planned events don’t align with your schedule, then grab a bucket and choose a spot to make your own personal cleanup site. Jane Goodall once said, “You cannot get through a single day without having an impact on the world around you. What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make.” We must all work together to take care of this amazing planet that we all call home. 

If you would like to learn about local organized cleanup opportunities, please see our 2022 Spring Cleanup Campaign Poster.

This campaign poster is a collaboration between ACES, the listed organizations, and our team of volunteers.  Lisa Conti is one of our volunteers whose recent letter to ACES highlights why she became involved:

“Art Currier, president of the Alliance of Climate and Environmental Stewards (ACES), reconnected with me to ask if I was interested in helping advance efforts to improve our environment. I learned that ACES needed someone to help guide high school students on promoting spring clean-up efforts in Greater Newburyport.

The project, and ACES’s mission, resonated with me. Whether at the beach or around my Salisbury neighborhood, I see and pick up way too much trash left by inconsiderate people. What do their selfish actions tell our children and grandchildren? Is the environment not worth saving for them? I’m glad to volunteer with like-minded adults and students who believe everyone should respect Mother Earth. I hope you’ll join us in a clean-up this spring.”  Lisa’s note continued:

Respect Mother Earth 
And her giving ways 
Or trade away 
Our children's days 
- “Mother Earth (Natural Anthem”) by Neil Young

This column was coordinated by ACES youth corps member, Caleb Bradshaw. To share any comments or questions, please send an email to To learn more about ACES and its Youth Leadership Initiative, visit website

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Brenda Hoover

Brenda brings her extensive experience working with non-profits to ACES, as an Advisor/Mentor, collaborating with local youth to further their understanding of preservation, conservation, and environmental stewardship. Through her love of nature, working with children and dedication to the protection of our environment, she has become a valuable team member with ACES-Alliance, successfully leading and supporting several ACES initiatives.