Walton County Annual Beach Clean-Up Day

July 5th is known as the Annual Clean-Up Day along South Walton County's beaches.

More than 100 volunteers combed the coastline picking up firework debris and other garbage.

Sandy Saffold has a home in Atlanta but lives part-time in South Walton County.

Sandy is one of nearly 100 others determined to clean some 26-miles of coastline from inlet beach to Mirmar Beach. "You find a bit of everything out here. It all comes down to a bunch of inconsiderate people out there."

The annual July Fifth Clean-Up is a project of the South Walton Community Council. They are a local advocacy group looking to bring about positive changes to the environment.

Meg Nelson with the South Walton Community Council said, "Firework debris is plenty, and it was dark when folks left. This morning you see all the debris, and we want to keep our beaches just as beautiful."

For some, it's back-breaking work, but the results are well worth the effort.

Michelle Ruest, a part-time resident in the area and volunteer said she has seen, "A boat load of cigarette butts and they are just as much garbage; plenty of uneaten food and fireworks."

Volunteers are also cleaning the beach not only for visuals, but because it's turtle nesting season as well, and that causes problems.

Charles Reichman, another volunteer said there is, "Plenty of garbage like plastics that they can't digest and it will most likely kill them."

Volunteers collected more than several hundred bags of garbage and debris. Organizers say the amount of debris is significantly down from previous years following July 4th.


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