By Susan Hill Smith for Island Eye News
Monday evening litter sweeps continue until Labor Day As beach season heats up, Isle of Palms Cleanup Crew is revving up its schedule and adding new weekly Wednesday morning litter sweeps that will target the commercial streetscape and parking lots at Front Beach in partnership with the City of Isle of Palms.
IOP Cleanup Crew’s “breakfast club” sweeps will be geared to adult volunteers, with a recommended minimum age of 16 for participants. The Wednesday morning sweeps will be from 7 to 8 a.m., from June 8 to Aug. 31, with each volunteer asked to collect litter for at least half an hour a sweep.
Once they finish, volunteers can enjoy discounts that morning at Café Paname, The Sea Biscuit Café and Acme Lowcountry Kitchen. IOP Cleanup Crew’s litter sweeps intend to keep public and natural spaces healthy and beautiful, while collecting data and creating awareness to help solve the critical pollution crisis impacting coastal ecosystems. As with the crew’s regular all-ages Monday night beach cleanups, Wednesday morning check-ins will be in the space between the city restroom building and outdoor showers in the 1100 block of Ocean Boulevard, alongside Coconut Joe’s restaurant. The crew provides gloves, buckets, clipboards and data sheets to document litter items for South Carolina Aquarium’s Litter-Free Digital Journal. With an IOP Cleanup Crew vehicle magnet, volunteers receive free parking in the city lots off Pavilion Drive during sweeps and for an hour before and after a sweep ends.
IOP Cleanup Crew kicked off 2022 with a series of six spring Monday night sweeps that included special welcome sessions with the South Carolina Aquarium’s Conservation Team and Lowcountry litter crusader Howard Hogue, aka “Beach Santa.” Volunteers removed close to 6,000 litter items from the beach during the spring sweeps, bringing the crew’s total trash haul since organizing in 2018 to more than 80,000 litter items. From Memorial Day through Labor Day, the crew’s Monday night sweeps will be weekly, from 6-7 p.m., except for the week of July 4, when IOP Cleanup Crew will instead support an Isle of Palms Police Department sweep July 5. As IOP Cleanup Crew volunteers finish up Monday nights, they can enjoy discounts from the following island restaurants: The Windjammer, Ben & Jerry’s, The Boathouse, Lawrence’s Seafood Company, Papi’s Taqueria and Smugglers. Later this summer, those who have volunteered at least twice in 2022 or previous years can collect a new IOP Cleanup Crew T-shirt.
IOP Cleanup Crew welcomes residents from throughout the Charleston area, as well as visitors to the Lowcountry. No advance registration is required, though groups of 15 or more are encouraged to email Co-founder Susan Hill Smith, firstname.lastname@example.org, ahead of time.