Marshall Island Beach Clean Up

Marshall Island is a massive undeveloped gem on the coast of Maine and it sparkles a little brighter today thanks to a hardworking group of people.

MCHT Marshall Clean-Up-277


On August 24th, 2023, 40 people joined together on the most idyllic late summer day to network, picnic, compile bags of trash, load MCHT boats for transport to the mainland, and truck it all to the dump and recycling facility.

Maine Coast Heritage Trust had the help of the Rozalia Project to collect, count, and bag up hundreds of pounds of debris in the few days leading up to our Marshall Island cleanup day. The Rozalia Project has done similar cleanups all along the Maine coast and worked with MCHT for years.

Back in June, the Rozalia Project, Maine Island Trail (MITA) and MCHT removed hundreds of traps, many buoys, and plastic pieces from Inner Bar and Outer Bar Islands near the village of Corea, Maine.

In July, Rozalia and MCHT removed over a thousand pounds of debris from a single beach on Long Island (Frenchboro).

In early August, our stewardship team removed over 2,500 pounds of cut material that was an abandoned float from the shore of McGlathery Island, one skiff-load at a time.

MCHT Marshall Clean-Up-44

On this late-August day, we collected 860 pounds of plastic buoys, rope, and trash, From (only two) packed boatloads. We also had a full trailer load of traps that weighed 1020 pounds and was transported to a metal recycling facility in Steuben, Maine. An electronic malfunction on one of our MCHT vessels prevented us from removing all of the staged debris in one day, but we’ll be back to get the rest of the bags soon!

I’d like to especially thank Whit and Catherine Drayton for recruiting 15 hardworking volunteers to join us, and Whit (again) for mustering a small army to scramble over large rocks so they could remove buoys, traps, and plastic waste from difficult terrain!

Every time we visit islands and preserves, our stewardship team gathers and properly disposes of any manageable plastic debris, but the larger items require more organizing to remove. It may seem like a daunting undertaking to attempt to “solve” the debris issues all along our coastline but working together in small groups to remove metal and plastics really does add up and inspire more effort. Tourists, locals, and lobsterman have thanked us often at the docks for removing this trash and lost gear and for stewarding these beautiful islands for all to enjoy. 

We undoubtedly have many more bags, buoys, and traps to remove and recycle which will bring our total over A TON of debris for this year’s event.

Thanks A TON for a successful, helpful, and fun island beach day, we couldn’t have done it without you!