Annual July 5th beaches clean up: Volunteers pick up after party

After a night of fun and fireworks, the beach is full of trash. Now, volunteers are cleaning up the beaches.

JACKSONVILLE BEACH, Fla. – Volunteers hit the beaches Tuesday morning to clean up after Monday night’s Fourth of July festivities in an annual tradition headed up by the city of Jacksonville, Keep Jacksonville Beautiful and Beaches Sea Turtle Patrol.

It’s one of the largest clean-up efforts at the beaches every year.

“I’m very excited. I’m gonna start with the locals. The locals were out here in hoards. We are out here at 6 a.m.,” said Kevin Brown with Beaches Sea Turtle Patrol. “Locals we’re already out and we’ve had several groups come out. It’s just a good feeling when Duval comes together and we clean up our mess.”

Volunteers pick up trash at the beaches on July 5th every year. (WJXT)

Volunteers, gloved and armed with trash bags, converged on Jacksonville area beaches from One Ocean to Beach Boulevard and beyond to pick up all the trash.

“We’re seeing a lot of plastics and food utensils and things like that,” Brown said.

There were also spent fireworks, trashed beach chairs and boogie boards -- you name it, people left it behind.

The annual cleanup is especially important for sea wildlife that can get sick from the junk left behind that either stays ashore or could get in the water and float to another area.

Last year, the event drew 221 volunteers who donated 442 hours to collect 150 bags or 3,000 pounds of debris stuffed full of plastics, paper and fireworks remnants.

“We love to help people with kindness. We’re always going to be united, not divided because God made us special. To be ourselves,” volunteer Naomi Smith said. “We have to all work together to make this beach clean.”

About the Authors:

This native of the Big Apple joined the News4Jax team in July 2021.

Ashley Harding joined the Channel 4 news team in March 2013 and reports every weekday for The Morning Show.