Clean Ocean Action: Making Waves to Save the Shore
As residents of the Jersey Shore many of us can remember the days when beaches were closed due to medical waste or untreated sewage and other toxins. Multiple dumpsites existed just off the coast. Massive fish kills were common. Our ocean was being used as a cesspool.
Many small voices spoke out but were easily ignored. That changed in 1984 when a dozen organizations joined forces to form a coalition called Clean Ocean Action (COA).
IUE Local 417 and CWA Local 1034 were two of the founding organizations. Ironically, sixteen years later, the IUE merged with CWA; and Local 417 merged with Local 1034. Local 1034 became 1038 and now we have become 1075. Despite the name changes, we remain the primary labor organization in Clean Ocean Action since it was formed. The union has a seat on the COA Board of Trustees.
From humble beginnings, the coalition grew to over 100 organizations from Greenpeace to the Girl Scouts; chambers of commerce, commercial and recreation fishing organizations, diving groups, boaters, surfers and concerned citizens. Like a union gives workers a stronger voice, COA did the same for diverse groups that shared a common goal.
Eight dumpsites were closed. Sewage treatment improved. Medical waste and trash dumping was ended. But the threats to our ocean keep coming. Proposals for Liquid Natural Gas terminals and non-point pollution sources remain major threats.
COA is non-partisan, addressing issues through research and science. COA was recently recognized for its remarkable post-Sandy response, turning out 14,000 volunteers to clean and restore the coast. The job continues.
As a member of Local 1075, you are part of this great organization that has done so much to clean up, protect and defend our ocean. Recognized and respected as an effective, well run organization COA will celebrate its 30th anniversary in 2014. For more information, or to get involved, check the website www.CleanOceanAction.org