Talking trash: Online petition asks people to keep Jax Beach clean

As weather gets warmer, residents say trash, litter increases on beach

JACKSONVILLE BEACH, Fla. – A new petition is circulating online asking people to keep Jacksonville Beach clean. 

Thousands of people will gather this weekend at the 71st annual Opening of the Beaches Parade. But the festival has many beach residents worried about the trash that visitors bring. 

The beautiful beach is supposed to be a relaxing place -- a spot for romance or friendly competition. But Jacksonville Beach has a problem. 

"I am appalled with the way the citizens are coming down here and disrespecting mother ocean, because she is beautiful," Jacksonville Beach resident Kelly McCracken told News4Jax on Tuesday. 

Trash, garbage, waste, litter -- it's called many names, but it's gross and it's all over the place. As the weather gets warmer, the problem grows, and the bigger the crowds, the bigger the mess. 

"We are proud of what we have here. We are proud of our beautiful ocean and beautiful beaches, and we want to keep it that way," said Jacksonville Beach resident Alyx Bowden.

Beaches residents said they've had enough, and so have the people who've already signed the online petition. 

The city of Jacksonville Beach pays contractors to sweep up every morning, and, recently, Void Magazine organized a big Earth Day cleanup, but more trash could be seen on the beach Tuesday.

"People need to be more self-conscious of what they throw away and where they throw it. They should care more," beachgoer Christina Muniz said.

Jacksonville Beach police are not happy about the trash either. They’re asking people to look out for litterers, and clean up after themselves. Not doing so could carry hefty fines and even criminal charges. But officers said it’s hard to enforce because a lot of the littering is done after dark.

But there's an easy fix.

News4Jax has discovered a groundbreaking, cutting-edge technology. It's called a trash can. All people have to do is put their garbage in it. And believe it or not, the city has at least one at every single beach access. 

So please, put it in the can, so everyone can enjoy one of the area's greatest resources.

Click here to sign the online petition aiming to stop the trash and litter on Jacksonville Beach. 

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