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26 Jun 2018
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Of course when you and your loved ones come to stay in a Charleston beach house, one of the main draws is a clean beach. Most of our vacation homes are either oceanfront or right close to it.  You can enjoy the beach just by sitting on your porch or looking out the window, or by heading out the door and sticking your toes in the sand. Having a clean beach is vital to both visitors and locals alike, not to mention perhaps most of all, the many species of wildlife that call it home.  Our beaches are one of the most valuable resources in these parts. Unfortunately it’s usually we two-legged critters who are the ones who mess it up with litter and ocean pollution of all sorts.  Paper, plastic bags, glass bottles, beach furniture, beach toys, tires, cigarette butts, food wrappers, cans, pieces of Styrofoam coolers can all wreak havoc on wildlife and detract from the natural beauty of our beaches and waterways.

IOP takes a bold step to help keep a clean beach


In an effort to combat that, the Isle of Palms took a major step forward when it became the first municipality in the state to carry out a plastic bag ban in local businesses.  They vote was unanimous (8-0) a couple years back.  So when you go into Harris-Teeter for groceries to stock your beach house, you won’t be asked the question, “Paper or plastic?”  You’ll be taking the groceries out in a paper bag  -  unless you did one step better for the planet, and brought your own reusable shopping bag. Other cities have followed suit, including Folly Beach and most recently Mount Pleasant.  The state legislature is trying to ban such bans, but IOP, Folly, Hilton Head and Surfside Beach are all grandfathered in.  

Sweep the Beach 

  In an effort to combat the problem of litter on the beaches and waterways, the Sea Grant Consortium created a statewide event in 1988 called the Beach Sweep River Sweep South Carolina.  It’s taken place every year since, on the third Saturday of September, and is coming up again this fall. But the problem of litter on the beach is an ongoing one, especially during peak summer season.  One beach clean up a year is just not enough.  

July 5th Morning Beach Clean Up

  As a result, two different summertime sweeps are happening.  One is a one-time event sponsored by the IOP Police Department.  It’s set to happen on July 5th, the day after the biggest single day on the beach, people-wise. There will be free parking at the IOP County Park, as well as supplies and water.  You’re encouraged to bring a reusable water bottle.  It’ll happen from 6:00 a.m. till 10:00 a.m.  You can stay as long as you like, or drop by as time permits to lend a hand. Find out more at the IOPPD Facebook page.  

Weekly Monday Evening Beach Clean Ups

  A group of local citizens has banded together to form a weekly beach clean up during the prime summer months, when the beaches are the most visited. It’s called the Isle of Palms Cleanup Crew.  They just had their first clean up yesterday  -  Monday, June 25th. Here are the details:

  • Clean ups happen from 5:30 till 6:30 each Monday, for eleven straight weeks.  It started June 25th and lasts through Labor Day.  This coincides with prime season for beach rentals Charleston.
  • Volunteers will pick up litter between 9th Avenue and the pier (Front Beach) for at least a half an hour.
  • Bags and gloves provided.
  • Open to all, not just local residents. Kids 14 and under must be supervised by an adult.
  • Sign ups are at the Front Beach walkover near the public restrooms.
  • Those who sign up and clean three weeks during this summer will get a free T-shirt.
  • As they finish, volunteers can meet up at a special designated local eating spot.  There, you can take advantage of IOP Cleanup Crew specials.
  • Yesterday’s afterparty was at Coconut Joe’s. Upcoming ones include The Windjammer (July 2nd) and The Dinghy (July 9th).  Banana Cabana and Acme Lowcountry Kitchen will host future events.

Here’s a report from Live 5 News, with a video of some of the participants and what trash they found. Here’s more on the story, “A Twist on Trash Pickup,”  from the Island Eye News. So consider taking part in a beach cleanup, either with one of those groups or on your own.  And when you are looking for the best beach rentals near Charleston, call EP.  We’ll find you the perfect one.  On a clean beach. All best, Lowcountry Lisa your Isle of Palms vacation blogger