Coastal Master Naturalists...

Litter Sweeps

It’s addictive. It’s dirty. It happens everywhere, often in broad daylight, and it makes you feel good. I’m talking about picking up trash.

Everywhere I look I see litter. It seems to be getting worse here in our beautiful neck of the woods. I don’t think I am seeing things either. It’s a logical conclusion to draw that more people equals more litter. The more people part of that equation is fairly irrefutable. Have you driven around Charleston lately? We are full. And I suppose so are our trash cans, just take a look around.

I have taken part in two litter sweeps with my fellow CMN’s recently and just signed up for a third. At our last meeting, with seven or so volunteers actively recovering garbage from the marsh off of the Stono River on John’s Island, we picked up:

Total items removed: 1458
Top 5 items: plastic bottles (696), Styrofoam (178), glass bottles (119), Al cans (117), shoes/clothes (60)
Total plastics: 913

We were picking up trash actively for about an hour! I picked up 300 plastic bottles alone.

It’s an uphill battle to be sure, but an important one nonetheless. Litter sweeps are also a great way to meet your compadres in the CMNA. On our last sweep I connected with an individual and through that individual I was able to get signed up to do some volunteer work with DNR on their research boats, something I’ve been very excited to try out.

Even if it’s a couple of plastic bottles or some styrofoam junk, pick it up! The journey of a clean planet begins with one chicken tray.

Read more about the #trashtag hashtag!