ST. AUGUSTINE BEACH, Fla. – Once the Fourth of July celebrations ended in St. Johns County, the cleanup began.
Celebrating Independence Day and then protecting the beaches has become a 48-hour tradition Bill Zeits and others with Keepers of the Coast do every year.
“Sometimes, on the Fourth, you get excited about the festivities and forget some of the things that you should’ve taken home with you, so we are here to remind people to pack their own trash and leave nothing but their footprints,” Zeits said.
On Thursday, the group searched the sand for any garbage left behind from those celebrating the Fourth of July.
Group members have been doing the cleanup for nine years, and it only took a couple of seconds to find the trash.
Wearing plastic gloves and holding small bags, volunteers picked up everything from sparkers, and fireworks to cigarette butts. Both young and old took part in the cleanup.
Teenager Ethan Cleary helped with the cleanup, alongside his father.
“We just wanted to come out and help because every year we see a lot of sparklers fireworks all over the beach and we just want to help protect the environment,” Cleary said.
Zeits and the other volunteers believe the effort will help preserve the beach a little longer.
To learn more about the cleanup group, visit keepersofthecoast.org.