Volunteers help clean beaches after July 4th celebrations

Volunteers help clean beaches after July 4th celebrations

JACKSONVILLE BEACH, Florida. – Dozens of volunteers at two locations spent the morning cleaning up large messes left behind after Fourth of July celebrations on beaches.

The most common debris and trash found are used fireworks and cigarette butts, but over the years, groups organizing large cleanup events have found everything from clothing and shoes to toys. Volunteer David Halsey said he found a credit card this year.

The City of Jacksonville and groups like Keep Jacksonville Beautiful and Beaches Sea Turtle Patrol work together to clean up beaches after the July 4 holiday each year. JEA also organized cleanup activities at Oceanfront North near the old lifeguard station and Mickler’s Landing on Friday.

“It’s sad to see the amount of paper and stuff that is left behind and the trash that people leave behind,” said one volunteer. “It’s nice to see so many people cleaning up here.”

Volunteer Mark Pecci called it “disgusting.”

“It’s unbelievable that people are leaving this place. I can understand the fireworks, but the hats, the shoes, the alcoholic beverages left here. This is just disgusting,” Pecci said.

Last year, more than 200 volunteers showed up and collected more than 4,500 pounds of trash from the beaches.

The groups are also on the lookout for deep holes left by swimmers because sea turtles can fall into them, in addition to eating garbage that can make them sick.

“A lot of the sick turtles have to come inside and they find plastic and trash, balloons, string,” said Pamela Bruno of the Beach Turtle Patrol. “If someone leaves a chair outside, it becomes an obstacle. If it has any kind of fiber or string, the animals get caught in it.”

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