Volunteers clean city's 'greatest treasure'

Annual River City Cleanup kicks off

Volunteers pick up trash Saturday along the riverbank in at Blue Cypress Park in Arlington.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – For the past 16 years, volunteers all around the River City have been doing their part in keeping our shorelines free of litter and debris. The Annual River Cleanup Programs kicked off Saturday morning.

Local volunteers worked to clean up other people's mess, collecting bag after bag of trash along the St. Johns River. They said the littering has got to stop.

"There was a lot of trash," said volunteer Sophia Bittercourt. "I'm glad I got to do the cleanup."

It was Bittercourt's first time taking part, along with dozens of other volunteers, who at the end of the day hope their actions will inspire others to respect the environment.

"We have to preserve our resources, it's a beautiful thing," said Laura Bittercourt.

Saturday's cleanup was Jacksonville's kickoff event for the Florida Great American Cleanup. Volunteers on the national and regional level are all doing what they can to protect the environment.

Volunteers say even the smallest amount of trash tarnishes Jacksonville's greatest treasure: the river.