Life can be pretty beachy here in Liberty County! One of the prettiest barrier islands on Georgia’s coast is right here for us to enjoy. The beach on Saint Catherine’s Island is a scenic place to spend the day when it is as pristine and clean as God intended it to be. Each year we have an annual cleanup of the beach to help maintain that pristine beauty.
One of my favorite pastimes in Liberty County has always been visiting the beautiful beach over at St Catherine’s Island. This barrier island is certainly one of Liberty County’s greatest treasures. It is not only an absolutely beautiful place but the island has played such a significant part in the history of this area. I love to go there because it is so simple and quiet and peaceful. It is - most of the time - just you and the sun and the breeze and the waves.
Unfortunately, there is one little problem. It is shocking to me that people can visit this lovely area for recreation and "forget" to clean up their camp sites when they leave. I really don’t think God created beautiful places like this and then said, "let there be beer bottles tossed around here." I think sea shells and footprints are really enough decoration for a beach like this.
Each year Keep Liberty Beautiful sponsors a "Beach Sweep" cleanup on part of the beach area that is used most frequently. In the early years we would collect well over a ton of litter and debris that had been left or washed up on the beach. It is really shameful.
Not only do we mar the beach, pollute the ocean, and harm aquatic and animal life by littering beaches and using the ocean as a trash can, we hurt ourselves and the way of life that many of us love on the coast.
So much for preaching. The reality is that the least we can do is periodically try to clean up the mess that is left there by ignorant beach guests. Of course, to do a cleanup like this we rely on local boat owners generously providing transportation for cleanup volunteers over to St Catherine’s. This cleanup would not be possible without that kind of support. If you would like to donate your time and your boat for this upcoming cleanup, please contact Keep Liberty Beautiful at 368 4888 or firstname.lastname@example.org as soon as possible
We can only take a limited number of volunteers based on the boat space that we have available. Volunteers must pre-register. If you are interested in volunteering, please contact the KLB office to be added to the registration list by Sept. 15. This is a relatively small cleanup group -usually about 50 volunteers - in comparison to our landlocked cleanups, but it is definitely one of our most popular and most enjoyable. We would love to have as many interested volunteers as possible involved. All KLB volunteers will receive official Rivers Alive shirts. We also provide a picnic lunch on the beach after the cleanup.
This beach cleanup is part of our overall waterway cleanup effort in September and October as a part of the state Rivers Alive Event and also as a part of the cleanup effort of the international Ocean Conservancy. More than 700 volunteers participate each year locally to clean near wetlands, creeks, ponds and rivers at over 50 locations throughout Liberty County. Since over 40 percent of our county is "wet"- either wetlands, creeks streams, rivers and even beach on St Catherine’s - it is critical that we remove as much litter and debris as possible to protect our waterways. We encourage you to be a part of this effort.
Also on Sept. 15, we will be hosting the Librty County Chamber of Commerce’s monthly Progress through People Luncheon at noon at the Connection Church.
Our speakers will be Ryan and Nissa Hall with the League of Protectors. They will be sharing the mission of the League of Protectors and their vision for caring for and protecting the Georgia Coast. To attend, interested persons should register with the Chamber by Tuesday at 912-368-4445 or email@example.com.
To find out more about the St Catherine’s Beach Sweep and the Progress through People Luncheon, please contact Keep Liberty Beautiful at 880-4888 or firstname.lastname@example.org or check out our website www.keeplibertybeautiful.org.
Swida is director of Keep Liberty Beautiful.