Thousands of volunteers will be fanning out to pick up trash and debris along the entire 660-square-mile Barnegat Bay watershed today.

Edwin B. Forseyth National Wildlife Reserve, Conserve Wildlife Foundation of NJ

The eco-friendly event, run by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP), is called the Barnegat Bay Blitz. Katie Barnett, Education and Outreach staffer with the NJDEP's Water Resource Management division explains the purpose of the Blitz.

"The goal for the Blitz is to not only clean up but is also to spread awareness so that the greater community recognizes that it's within their power to make changes that can help restore and protect the bay", Barnett said.

The NJDEP expects thousands of volunteers that range from school children to retirees to be working as far west as Plumsted & Jackson Townships to as far southeast In Long Beach Township.

NJDEP Commissioner Bob Martin is also releasing an update on the Governor's action plan to restore the Barnegat Bay, the same plan that called for the early shut down of the Oyster Creek Nuclear Power Plant.

The Barnegat Bay Blitz will kick off on the grounds of Cattus Island County Park in Toms River where a new 'living shoreline', That improves erosion control and water quality by natural filtration, will be unveiled.

According to an NJDEP press release, this is the 5th Barnegat Bay Blitz since May of 2011 where more than 17,000 volunteers have participated, collecting thousands of bags of trash and debris.