GEORGETOWN, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- The summer tourism season has come and gone. As visitors clear out of Maine's beaches, volunteers are coming in to clean up the coast.
As part ofInternational Coastal Cleanup, 55 Maine communities are participating in Maine's Coastal Cleanup week from Sept. 15 - 22.
The Maine Coastal Program, a division of the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry, is sponsoring the volunteer efforts.
Last year, Maine had 2,361 volunteers statewide.
Together, they collected more than 19 thousand pounds of trash along 109 miles of beaches, averaging 175 pounds of trash per mile.
The coastal town of Georgetown has one of the largest community teams, with 75 members.
Last year, volunteers collected nearly a half of a ton of trash.
The cleanup not only helps the environment, but it also helps the Maine Coastal Program plan for the future.
"In identifying the sources, it helps us to build better programs to address the trash issue," said Theresa Torrent-Ellis, Maine Coastweek coordinator.
Collection sites across the state will be open until Sunday afternoon.