Clean Beach Initiatives

S.W.I.M. hosts a number of initiatives aimed at at keeping our beaches clean. These programs include:

Adopt a Beach

In 2011, SWIM joined the 25-year-old Adopt a Beach program begun by Salem Sound Coastwatch, a nonprofit watershed organization on the North Shore dedicated to protecting and improving the environmental quality of coastal resources, including beaches, rivers, salt marshes, and the coastal waters. Since then, SWIM has rallied residents to the cause with monthly cleaning of individual beaches by teams of Beachkeepers, as well as organizing an Annual Nahant Beaches Cleanup Day in the spring. Recently, SWIM added an annual fall cleanup of Short Beach, in collaboration with the worldwide initiative called COASTSWEEP. The records of debris collected give valuable benchmarks of conditions and trends.

Annual Beaches Cleanup Day

The first annual beaches cleanup day was organized in 2006 by Linda Jenkins, the president of the Women’s Club. This massive effort on the part of the entire community was a great success and was repeated from 2007-2009. After a five-year pause, the newly-formed 01908 group held cleanups in 2013-2014. In 2015, SWIM took over the annual event. Hundreds of residents of all ages flock to our beaches to purge them of trash. These annual events bond our community together and set standards for the preservation of the beauty of Nahant’s beaches.


SWIM has been taking part in COASTSWEEP events for several years. COASTSWEEP is part of the International Coastal Cleanup, organized by Ocean Conservancy in Washington, DC. Their annual event strives to raise awareness and clean beaches all around the world by bringing hundreds of thousands of volunteers to beaches, lakes, and streams worldwide to remove marine debris and collect data to help identify and address the behaviors that cause the debris. The annual cleanup has grown over the years—in 2016, 2,563 volunteers cleaned 164 miles of coastline, river bank, marsh, seafloor, and lakeshore in Massachusetts—collecting more than 13,780 pounds of debris from 107 locations. In total 147,654 items were collected. We are proud to be sponsoring a newly initiated fall cleanup of Short Beach in Nahant.

Plant a Tree Program

Volunteers help plant a tree in Nahant

In 2016, SWIM created a program to plant trees in Nahant. Within a year, SWIM donated four trees to the Town of Nahant, which were planted in Marjoram Park. We look forward to encouraging the planting of trees by property owners themselves.

Trees are critically important to our environment, especially to our own health and the health of our land and water. They improve the quality of the air we breathe by consuming carbon dioxide, producing oxygen and trapping pollution. In initiating this program, we hope to educate and influence the community on the importance of tree planting and maintenance.

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Partnership with Northeastern University Marine Science Center and the Coastal Ocean Science Academy

Nahant SWIM has a long history with the Northeastern University Marine Science Center (MSC). Since SWIM's inception in 1984, MSC scientists have provided expertise and support to SWIM efforts to advocate for secondary treatment of local wastewater, prevent contaminated dredge spoil from being dumped locally, ensure minimal impacts from the siting of a natural gas pipeline, protect endangered whales, and advocate for the creation of a No Discharge Area in local waters. The collaboration includes joint programs at the Annual Bioblitz, SWIM hosting meetings at MSC and MSC faculty representation on SWIM’s Board. This long term partnership between SWIM and the MSC’s marine scientists have helped to advance SWIM’s efforts and benefited the natural resources of Nahant.

For over a decade, the Coastal Ocean Science Academy (COSA), based out of the Marine Science Center in Nahant’s East Point, has provided a hands-on, research-based STEM education experience that connects youth to local coastal habitats and to the factors that shape them. This day-program includes off-site field trips to locations around Boston and the North Shore. High school students also complete a research project, which they present to peers, family, and friends.

Starting in 2016, thanks to the generosity of our donors, SWIM was able to start an annual program of providing scholarship funds for Nahant’s resident middle and high school students interested in attending this program. In 2017, we expanded the reach of these funds to include support for high school and college-age residents seeking internships at the Marine Science Center. We are grateful to be able to make this opportunity available to our young people interested in ocean science.

Other Community Initiatives Include:

  • Educating the public about the environment
  • Speaking out and taking actions to protect the environment
  • Publishing a guide to the rocks of Nahant, now available at the Nahant Public Library
  • Participating in regional environmental seminars
  • Serving as a first responder to threats to our beautiful environment here in Nahant
  • Serving as a resource to the public about environmental issues
Recycle Bag by Vi Patek
ML with Hat by Mark Patek
Heather Goodwin's Serpent by Vi Patek

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