Cindy Zipf: A Force for Beach Sweeps

Zipf has been executive director of Clean Ocean Action since the 1980s.

From Sandy Hook to Cape May, environmentalists, friends and neighbors gathered today at spots all along New Jersey's shoreline to sweep beaches clean of debris.

It was Clean Ocean Action Beach Sweeps day. The event has become a spring and fall Jersey Shore staple, especially in Middletown, since Clean Ocean Action's headquarter office is on . It has been there since 1984, when the non-profit environmental organization that does battle with shore pollution demons was formed.

Cindy Zipf, the voice for the sea behind Clean Ocean Action (COA), has been its executive director since the group's inception as a spin off of the , which still houses its office in the same building as COA.

A Rumson native, Zipf cultivated her inherent love of the ocean and its shores into a career while being mentored by the American Littoral Society's original director Derry Bennett, who died a few years ago. 

Zipf has led COA through many an environmental cause to protect the water and marine life, from the now mainstay beach sweeps to efforts to end ocean dumping and improve water quality.

She is evermore energized by "the power" of the people, as she calls it, to consistently mobilize and affect change for the good of the ocean environment.

Watch the above video and hear Cindy Zipf's story. And, let us know in the comments section below if you participated in the sweeps and what the strangest item was that you picked up. 


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