New 'Clean Seas' kiosk encourages visitors to clean up Freddy Beach

Students and a UNE staff member gather in front of the Clean Seas UNE beach cleanup kiosk at Freddy Beach
The new Clean Seas UNE kiosk is located at the entrance to Freddy Beach and is intended to normalize beach cleanups.

Imagine the setting: pristine white sands dotted with algae. Clear, crystal waters ebbing gently with waves. A fishing boat idly drifts by, teeming with the morning’s catch.

It’s the idyllic summer beach scene. But then you spot it: litter. It could be stray fishing lines. A glass bottle. A potato chip bag.

Whatever the culprit, it’s a harsh reality that what ends up in our rivers often ends up on our beaches.

To combat the phenomenon, students at the University of New England recently installed a beach cleanup kiosk at the gateway to the University’s very own Freddy Beach.

The premise is simple: when beachgoers make their way to the shore, they can take a bucket from the kiosk, pick up and deposit any debris they come across, and place the bucket back for collection. The program, called Clean Seas UNE, is modeled after the “Pitch-In” program hosted by the town of Scarborough.

The purpose of the kiosk is to normalize beach cleanups, said Alethea Cariddi, M.S.Ed., assistant director of Sustainability at UNE.

“There will never be a shortage of trash, litter, and debris on our beaches, and so the Clean Seas program will allow our UNE community to make routine beach cleanups fun, convenient, and instill a sense of pride,” Cariddi remarked.

A small crowd gathered at an unveiling for the kiosk on May 5 and applauded when the structure was revealed.

“We wanted to offer this service because we have such a vibrant beach community here and also because this is the home for students for much of the year,” said Jasmine Bouchard (Environmental Studies, ’23), vice-president of UNE’s Earth’s ECO club. “It’s a great way to educate people on the importance of keeping their environment clean because this is where they live. This is their environment.”

Jasmine Bouchard picks up litter from Freddy Beach on May 5.

Students remove litter from Freddy Beach.