LAMOINE, Maine — Lamoine State Park in Hancock County this year enjoyed one of its best summer seasons.
The park’s beauty is all-natural, but it doesn’t stay that way without a little help.
About 15 volunteers spent Saturday morning cleaning up nearly 2 miles of shoreline from Berry Cove to Raccoon Cove, which encompasses the park. They walked the beaches at low tide, traversed seaweed-covered rocks and endured brisk winds to help preserve the pristine landscape.
The event was part of Maine Coastweek, a statewide effort sponsored by the Maine Department of Conservation that highlights the importance of the state’s many beaches.
In addition to picking up beach debris, volunteers across the state recorded the types and amount of items found to help determine the source.
“That’s the thing about marine debris,” said Lamoine State Park Manager Jay McIntosh. “If someone dropped a water bottle in Moosehead Lake, it could run into the Kennebec River and end up just about anywhere.”
According to the Department of Conservation, volunteers helped clean up as many as 44 sites from Kittery to Eastport on Saturday.
“It’s a fantastic opportunity to build awareness and encourage stewardship of our marine environment,” said Martha Bell, education director of the Marine Environmental Research Institute in Blue Hill, which also held a cleanup effort Saturday. “Cleaning up the shoreline is a tangible way to feel the direct results of your ac-tions.”
Maine has 3,500 miles of coastline that attract state residents and tens of thousands of out-of-state visitors every year. Maine Coastweek is the largest volunteer effort in the state.
McIntosh said most visitors are very good about cleaning up after themselves, but that doesn’t lessen the need for cleanup efforts. Two local groups, the Lamoine Conservation Commission and the Lamoine Parks Commission, also participated.
“We know that all our volunteers make a real contribution to improving the condition of our coastal area,” he said.