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Jun 05 2019

Pollution Solutions

By Susan Hill Smith for The Island Eye News

How You Can Help Protect Our Beaches & Oceans
• Reduce: Eliminate or cut back on packaging you bring to the beach and other marine outings – especially plastic and polystyrene, which pose the biggest environmental threats.
• Reuse: Rely on reusables when you need bottles, cups, coolers, bags, etc.
• Pack in – pack out: Some beaches, like Isle of Palms, provide trash and recycling bins, but they can fill up quickly on busy days. If you really want to avoid trash getting into the ecosystem, take it back with you.
• Watch your stuff: Items like toys, towels, and shoes can also become trash if accidentally left behind or washed out with the tide.
• Pitch in: Pick up trash each time you visit. Keep it doable and still make a difference with the international “Take 3 for the Sea” campaign. But feel free to grab more, and record your good deeds with the SC Aquarium’s Citizen Science App, which also allows you to share photos of your finds.

Isle of Palms Cleanup Crew celebrates its first birthday this month as volunteers return to a weekly schedule of Monday evening trash sweeps on Front Beach this summer from June 10 through Labor Day.

 “We involved more than 400 volunteers over the course of summer last year, and we would love to top that total in 2019,” Co-founder Katrina Limbach said. “Remember, it’s flexible. You can volunteer as many Mondays as you like, and no advance registration is required. But if you come out three times, you will earn special gifts.”

Organizers will happily sign for volunteer hours. “We know a lot of students are looking for opportunities to help the community during the summer, and what could be more fun than volunteering at the beach?” Limbach added.

Each sweep lasts from 5:30-6:30 p.m. Volunteers sign in at the beach end of the access by the city restrooms/showers in the 1100 block of Ocean Boulevard. They are asked to clean at least 30 minutes. Reusable trash collection bags, gloves and hand sanitizer are provided. Afterward, crew members can gather at an Isle of Palms restaurant and enjoy a discount on food. Those who volunteer three times during summer 2019 will receive an Isle of Palms Cleanup Crew car decal and reusable shopping tote.

The June 10 kickoff sees IOP Cleanup Crew returning to The Windjammer, which will provide volunteers with free hot dogs for kids and 25 percent off other food.

Paid parking is available nearby in the city’s municipal lots and is free for vehicles with a Wild Dunes or Isle of Palms resident decal.

Limbach, an owner of Isle of Palms Beach Chair Company, and City Council Member Susan Hill Smith created IOP Cleanup Crew to help protect the coastal ecosystem from trash and build a sense of community among volunteers.

With guidance from the South Carolina Aquarium conservation team and its Citizen Science App, which includes a Litterfree Digital Journal, the crew recorded collecting more than 23,000 debris items during 11 sweeps. That total included more than 8,000 cigarette butts – which include toxic chemicals and plastic filters – and more than 10,000 other plastic items.

Follow Isle of Palms Cleanup Crew on Facebook for the latest details.

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