- Associated Press - Monday, November 9, 2015

BOSTON (AP) - Volunteers who remove plastic bags, bottles and other litter from Massachusetts’ beaches are being honored this week as “Heroes of the Ocean.”

The environmentalist group Women Working for Oceans and the Massachusetts Sierra Club, in partnership with the New England Aquarium, are recognizing people who give their time to clear litter that can kill birds, fish and sea mammals.

Those being honored in a ceremony at the Statehouse in Boston on Thursday are from Amherst, Barnstable, Brookline, Cambridge, Concord, Falmouth, Great Barrington, Harwich, Manchester-by-the-Sea, Marblehead, Nantucket, Newburyport, Newton, Northampton, Pittsfield, Provincetown, Somerville, South Hadley and Wellfleet.

Organizers say plastic bags are exceptionally dangerous because they can choke, strangle or entangle whales, turtles, sea lions, seals, birds, fish and other animals.

Sixteen Massachusetts communities have passed bans of single-use bags.

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