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9 Oct 2018
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The beach is a genuine treasure, and a beach sweep is a terrific way to help keep it that way. One of our greatest natural resources is our ocean and coastlines.  This is hugely apparent here in the Lowcountry.  People who come to visit, do so in large part to enjoy the beaches and waters around Charleston.  Many of our Isle of Palms vacation rentals are oceanfront, just steps from the sand and surf. Ocean pollution is a humongous problem, and it often starts at the beach. Area beaches are public.  As such they are open to everyone, whether they own property here, rent a vacation home, or are just visiting for the day. When the beach gets crowded, particularly during the peak summer months, the trash left behind can be shocking. It is all of our responsibility to try our best to keep them in clean, if not pristine, condition. Here in South Carolina, there’s a statewide Beach Sweep River Sweep that takes place on a Saturday each fall.  This year’s installment was supposed to happen September 15th.  However, due to Hurricane Florence, it was rescheduled to October 20th. Read more about it here. However, once a year just isn’t enough to keep our precious beaches clean.  As a result, some committed local residents created the IOP Cleanup Crew This amazing effort, which I covered in a previous blog, netted impressive results.

Check out what they were able to gather in  just eleven hour-long sessions of beach sweep on the IOP:

Now that peak season is over, they have switched to a monthly beach sweep, including one last night.  Each cleanup is followed by a gathering at a local eatery like The Windjammer for food and drinks specials for participants.  It’s become a rollicking good time, for locals and visitors, alike.  You can stay abreast of the latest on their Facebook page. There’s one graphic that really got my attention recently.  It’s the amount of time it takes for certain kinds of trash to decompose.  The numbers are shocking.  I’m putting it in as the featured graphic on this page.  But to recap a couple of stats, check this out….

Shocking Stats: The Time it Takes Decompose in the Ocean...


  • Plastic bag – 10 to 20 years
  • Aluminum can – 200 years
  • Tin can – 50 years
  • Plastic bottle – 450 years
  • Styrofoam cup – 50 years
  • Disposable diaper – 450 years (ewww, that’s a long time to have a dirty diaper lying around!)
  • Fishing line – 600 years.

Wow.  That really makes one stop and think.  And possibly rethink some habits, like getting plastic bags at the grocery store, or single use water bottles, both of which can so easily blow away on a windy beach. So help us keep our beaches clean, with a beach sweep if you're so inclined.  It doesn't have to be an official one.  Just next time you find yourself on the beach, conduct your own personal beach sweep and pick up whatever litter you see.  There are garbage cans conveniently located at beach access paths. And remember to call EP, because our Isle of Palms vacation rentals are near the loveliest beaches around. All best, Lowcountry Lisa your Isle of Palms vacation blogger