JACKSONVILLE BEACH, Fla. – As the sun rose Monday, more than 250 volunteers scoured Jacksonville Beach to clean up trash and debris left behind after Fourth of July celebrations.
“I just like to make sure our beaches stay nice and clean and that the wildlife stays healthy,” volunteer Kelly Ballard said.
Organizers estimate thousands of pounds of trash were collected, including several large bags containing plastic and paper, even fireworks left behind. One cell phone was found.
“What a wonderful resource this is for the community and we should do all that we can to just keep it up and keep it clean,” said Chip Clisson with Rotary Club Oceanside.
Volunteers met at three different locations and fanned out along the beach looking for any trash or items left behind this weekend.
Kevin Brown with Beaches Sea Turtle Patrol said the cleanup is important for the turtles.
“They literally can’t identify the difference between plastics and a food source, so when they nibble at the plastics or get caught up in the plastics, it just deteriorated their process of nesting and being a part of this ecosystem,” Brown said.
The annual July 5th cleanup took from 7 until 9 a.m. was sponsored by the city of Jacksonville, Keep Jacksonville Beautiful, and the Beaches Sea Turtle Patrol.
Volunteers encourage beachgoers to do their part to help keep the beaches clean every day.