Multiple groups converged Saturday to pick up litter along Sam Rittenberg Blvd., Northbridge Park and the surrounding marshland. The Sandhurst Civic Association has been doing the litter pick-ups on the first Saturday of each month for the past 17 years. On Saturday, it was joined by the groups Keep Charleston Beautiful, Charleston Water Keeper, Lowcountry Marsh Sweepers, and Clean Up West Ashley. The groups picked up more than 10 bags of litter, an abandoned bed headboard, strips of plywood and a car tire.
Keep Charleston Beautiful is connected with the City of Charleston. Program manager Jamie Gillette says the group has done six clean-up events in 2017 and wants to expand its reach in areas of need throughout the city.
Charleston Water Keeper is dedicated to maintaining drinkable, fishable and swimmable water quality throughout the Charleston harbor drainage basins. The group does water testing and organizes clean-ups. Amber Wheeler from Cross in upper Berkeley County met members from the group at the Southeastern Wildlife Exposition and learned about the Apr. 1 clean-up event. An avid boater and Audubon Society wildlife advocate, Wheeler brought her five-year-old daughter Aspen to help out. You can read about the group here: http://charlestonwaterkeeper.org
Lowcountry Marsh Sweepers does regular litter pick-ups, wading into the marshland to pick up debris. The trash is mostly thrown into the marsh by motorists and boaters. Of particular concern are styrofoam coolers, plastic bottles and plastic bags, which threaten wildlife.
All groups involved in the Apr. 1 litter pick-up encourage more Lowcountry volunteers to get involved in similar efforts throughout the area. Northbridge Park and Sam Rittenberg Blvd. are critical areas as the Gateway to Charleston for visitors who exit I-26 for destinations from Savannah Highway to Folly Beach. Those who know of areas which need attention are encouraged to post on the Facebook page Clean Up West Ashley: https://www.facebook.com/groups/205004843215292/