'The younger generation is in tune,' said Ocean Rescue Director Tom Gillin.
Updated 8:37 p.m. Sept. 20
One goal of a beach cleanup, of course, is to clean the beach. But some of the organizers of the International Coastal Cleanup on Sept. 19 in Flagler Beach hoped that such visible events will also inspire people not to litter in the first place, and that some day there won’t be a need for a beach cleanup.
The event was organized by the Friends of A1A Scenic and Historic Coastal Byway, with Marge Rooyakkers as president. Carla Cline and Flagler Beach Mayor Linda Provencher, who also organize cleanups every month with a group called the Flagler Beach All-Stars, were on the pier as the 200 volunteers registered and were give garbage bags and gloves.
“Hopefully the communication to stop leaving the trash around will spread,” Cline said. “No more beach cleanups is the goal.”
“What I love about events like this is it’s a community coming together. It’s not a government program.”
MICHAEL WALTZ, U.S. Representative
Tom Gillin, Ocean Rescue director, was hopeful that it could happen some day, considering how many teenagers were participating with groups from school, including the Matanzas High School Key Club.
“It shows that the younger generation is in tune,” he said. “It’s the whole attitude. People are showing that we just need to keep the environment clean.”
As the groups began to scour the sand for trash, U.S. Rep. Michael Waltz arrived, along with Rooyakkers, who is hopeful that A1A will soon be named an All-American Road.
“We live in a beautiful state, and we have to keep it that way,” Waltz said. “What I love about events like this is it’s a community coming together. It’s not a government program.”
Waltz also spoke to a group of volunteers from the Flagler Palm Coast High School Air Force Junior ROTC, praising them for their leadership.
“We need leaders to keep this country safe,” he said.