23rd annual statewide Beach Sweep/River Sweep set for September 17

Image by Beach Sweep/River Sweep Volunteers pick up trash around Waterfront Park during the 2010 Beach Sweep/River Sweep.

The 23rd annual Beach Sweep/River Sweep is scheduled for Saturday, September 17th from 9 a.m. until 12 p.m. Each year thousands of people participate in the Sweep, South Carolina’s largest one-day litter cleanup of beaches, marshes and waterways.

The S.C. Sea Grant Consortium and S.C. Department of Natural Resources organize the statewide event, which is held in conjunction with the Ocean Conservancy’s International Coastal Cleanup. Anyone can participate – individuals, families, schools, youth groups, civic and conservation clubs or businesses. All necessary supplies are provided.

Once the Sweep is over, the Ocean Conservancy tallies all of the debris data. This data helps us learn the sources of litter so we can stop pollution before it starts.

Last year nearly 4,700 dedicated volunteers removed 24 tons of debris. In its 22-year history, 1,072 tons of litter have been collected and recycled when possible.

There are many locations in need of volunteers. For a list of coastal site captains and cleanup locations, visit www.scseagrant.org or contact Susan Ferris Hill at (843) 953-2092 or susan.ferris.hill@scseagrant.org. For a list of site captains and cleanup locations inland, visit www.dnr.sc.gov/bsrs or contact Bill Marshall at (803) 734-9096 or marshallb@dnr.sc.gov. To become a site captain for an area that is not covered, contact either Susan or Bill via phone or email.

For continuing coverage on the Beach Sweet/River Sweep, keep up with the official Facebook fan page.