BARNEGAT LIGHT - Thousands of volunteers gathered at the Jersey Shore Wednesday to take part in the sixth annual Barnegat Bay Blitz cleanup.

Among the volunteers were fifth-graders from Village Elementary School in West Windsor. Their teacher says being part of the event helps bring her environmental lessons about watersheds to life. The students learned that pollution dumped in a sewer or stream eventually makes it into the bay.

The students and volunteers found huge pieces of wood, steel and plastic. The most common item found was bottle caps.

The daylong event is organized by the state Department of Environmental Protection. Volunteers expect to collect 30 dumpsters full of trash and debris.