College of Charleston grad student leads global beach cleanup

Source: Live 5
Published: Jun. 8, 2022 at 5:24 AM EDT|Updated: Jun. 8, 2022 at 9:09 AM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

FOLLY BEACH, S.C. (WCSC) - The official start to summer is just around the corner and as the temperatures rise, so do the number of crowds at local beaches. So, to help keep our beaches clean, one College of Charleston graduate student is at the forefront of a global initiative to clean select beaches in honor of World Ocean Day.

Cheyenne Cunningham realized last year that there weren’t any United Nations registered world ocean day events in either of the Carolinas. So, she decided to create her own.

Myrtle Beach, Folly Beach, Maui, and the Galapagos islands are the four locations where Cunningham has organized beach clean ups. Wednesday at Folly Beach, 20 participating organizations and about 150 people are expected to clean up the beach. They’ll be focused on four centralized locations that require the most attention.

Cunningham says although Folly Beach is clean, on weekends and holidays the trash can pile up and a few of the reasons are because of overflow and crowds.

“We’re going to be looking at the roadsides, we’re going to be looking at the boat launch, and we’re going to be looking along the public beach access and the public easements where sometimes it’s hard to keep the litter under control,” Cunningham says.

The goal of this initiative is for people to be aware of how they handle the environment and to respect the coastal ecosystem.

Beth Autlav has grown up going to Folly Beach, she says she’s noticed over the years with more and more people traveling here the trash negatively impacts the wildlife.

“Without our oceans, we really aren’t going to do well, are we? A lot of the beach animals come up. Like right now it’s sea turtle season and when they are in the ocean a plastic bag will look like jellyfish, so a lot of these animals are getting torn up by that,” Autlav says.

The cleanup at Myrtle Beach will start at the Myrtle Beach SkyWheel from 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

The Folly Beach cleanup will start at the Tides Hotel from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Click here for more.

Copyright 2022 WCSC. All rights reserved.