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Beach volunteers clear away trash left near the shore after July 4 celebrations

Posted: July 5, 2014 - 11:33am  |  Updated: July 5, 2014 - 7:17pm
Jacksonville Beach resident Sharon James volunteered her time Saturday morning to help clear trash left behind by beachgoers.   Meredith Rutland/The Times-Union
Meredith Rutland/The Times-Union
Jacksonville Beach resident Sharon James volunteered her time Saturday morning to help clear trash left behind by beachgoers.

Shelli Martin is never sure what she’ll find when she goes out on the beach after July 4. Sometimes she’ll just find mounds of cigarettes and cases of beer. Sometimes the beach volunteer finds an entire abandoned cabana.

Beach volunteers scoured the sands of Jacksonville Beach Saturday morning to clean up trash left from Independence Day celebrations. About 60 volunteers picked up trash along Jacksonville Beach as part of an annual clean up hosted by the Beaches Sea Turtle Patrol, Keep Jacksonville Beautiful and the City of Jacksonville. The beach cleanup has been an annual event since at least 1985, according to Beaches Sea Turtle Patrol.

SEE ALSO: Jacksonville residents enjoy food, family and fireworks as Independence Day is celebrated

Trash is common on beaches after any weekend, but especially after the Fourth of July, said Martin, a Beaches Sea Turtle Patrol spokeswoman. Garbage will wash into the ocean with the tides and can kill sea animals, which eat plastic and other items but have no way to digest those materials.

SLIDESHOW: Fireworks across the First Coast and the nation

Nesting sea turtles also have to dodge beach chairs and other garbage left on the sand by partygoers. Nesting season started in May, and many loggerhead turtles lay their eggs on Jacksonville Beach.

RELATED:  Fireworks, hot dogs, hurricane help mark July 4th

“There’s probably 100 [online] pictures of sea turtles under chase lounges looking for a place to nest,” Martin said.

Beach volunteer Sharon James, a Jacksonville Beach resident, walked along the shore Saturday morning and scoured the ground. She picked up a few cigarettes and two chicken bones. This year, volunteers found children’s bubble toys, toddler sippy cups, balloons and fireworks.

SLIDESHOW: Neptune Beach 4th rolls on and on

She also spent part of the morning filling in holes along the beach. Families dig pits to relax in, she said, but the holes trap nesting sea turtles.

“You find piles of cigarette butts. You uncover them and you find 50 of them,” she said. “We’ve been up and down the beach enough times, and we’re still finding stuff.”


Meredith Rutland: (904) 359-4161

Comments (3)

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traincompbox 07/06/14 - 02:40 pm
Great comments. But, in order

Great comments.

But, in order to have or show respect towards someone and/or their property, it must be taught. We (as a society) have failed to instill in our young for more than two score and five years what respect and moral behaviors are. This has been replaced by the I, me, my, mine mentality where these things come above all other things.

As partial evidence, just this past week were two reports of children left in vehicles. This can only happen when a lack of commitment (moral behavior) to rearing a child exists and the lack of respect to one's spouse and family members in favor of their individual wants (not needs).

Then there is that little thing of shooting people if the wind blows the wrong way.

hoots55 07/05/14 - 05:06 pm
Premium Member
Spot on. The attitude is

Spot on. The attitude is appalling in regard to those that behave this way. Makes me wonder if they throw their trash on their floor/in yard expecting someone else to clean it up. Some simply do not know how or what respect is.

Mister Nice Guy
Mister Nice Guy 07/05/14 - 12:13 pm
Premium Member
Isn't it a shame that these

Isn't it a shame that these celebrating LOW-LIFES couldn't have enough class, maturity and respect for the environment to keep from throwing their waste on the ground?

Truly trash dumping trash.

The "future" of our country...

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