Caitlin’s Cleanup packs 20 bags with trash

Caitlin Smith, of Colorado, poses at left with her cousin Kelly Bauer of North Carolina and brother

Caitlin Smith, of Colorado, poses at left with her cousin Kelly Bauer of North Carolina and brother Kiley, also of Colorado, on the far right.

Published: Thursday, September 4, 2014 at 02:02 PM.

Editor’s note: Caitlin Smith travels to St. George Island every year to visit her grandparents Charolette and Joe Bacher. In 2011 she decided she wanted to give something back to her favorite beach and organized her first beach cleanup. The tradition lives on.

Caitlin's fourth annual beach cleanup was another success!

We had a smaller group of about 10 volunteers who bagged approximately 20 trash bags full of garbage and larger items such as wooden pallets left by people on the beach and around the island. This is a good thing that there was less trash; however, we still need to realize that this is an ongoing problem that continually needs our attention.

I appreciate the homeowners who walk the beach and pick up trash every day. I also encourage everyone to throw away trash in the appropriate trashcans to help save our beautiful marine life and to make the beach a safer place. As many of you may know, sea turtles nest on the beach and baby turtles need a place to walk back to the ocean when they hatch. As young turtles are walking back, they often get tangled in nets left by fisherman and toy buckets left by children. The turtles try to eat plastic which eventually gets stuck around their body and left there for the rest of their life. These turtles have become endangered and we would like to help protect them instead of hurting them.

Plastic bags and other plastic garbage that is thrown into the ocean kill as many as one million sea creatures every year! In addition to this, other animals try to eat gum and cigarette butts because they look like food. This can poison turtles, birds, and fish and they can choke on the garbage and die. Please be responsible in protecting our beach and our sea life by keeping the beaches of St. George Island clean. See you next year! Thank you.

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