South Carolina’s Largest Litter Cleanup is This Saturday

The S.C. Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR) and the S.C. Sea Grant Consortium to host the 28th Annual Beach Sweep/River Sweep.

Our waterways are suffering at the hands of careless people and industry. You can take the kids on the kayaking on the Catawba or paddle boarding on Lake Wylie and explain that those aluminum cans don’t grow there, or you can join thousands of others in the yearly beach and river sweep.

Beach Sweep/River Sweep

On September 17, from 9 a.m. to noon South Carolina will host the largest one-day litter cleanup of beaches, marshes, and waterways. The clean sweep is hosted in conjunction with the Ocean Conservancy’s International Coastal Cleanup.

Think picking up litter doesn’t amount to much?

Last year, according to the SCDNR website, nearly 32 tons of litter was removed from areas around South Carolina. The Beach Sweep River Sweep, in its 27-year history, has collected more than 1,200 tons of litter and recyclables, saving our coast, banks, rivers, and creeks.

As the S.C. Grant site explains,quatic debris is dangerous. Seeing the effects of it first-hand, by participating in the cleanup, can demonstrate that. Litter is a danger to our wildlife, our safety, and our economy.

[bctt tweet=”Aquatic debris is dangerous. Seeing the effects of it first-hand, by participating in the cleanup, can demonstrate that. Litter is a danger to our wildlife, our safety, and our economy.” username=”RockHillReader”]

South Carolina is lucky to have such a vast amount of wonderful aquatic resources. We are home to a diverse wildlife population.

[bctt tweet=”Our state’s economy thrives on the tourism industry. However, if we don’t care for our natural resources, they simply won’t be there.” username=”RockHillReader”]

Can’t make it to the Beach Sweep/River Sweep?

The Inland Coordinator, Bill Marshall, is encouraging people to organize their own cleanup and think it’s a great idea to do so suggesting you to “take the initiative to organize a cleanup at any time (this Saturday or a later date); take a look at the site captain manual for ideas and suggestions about organizing a cleanup.”

How to volunteer in the S.C. litter cleanup

Becoming a part of this year’s Beach Sweep/River Sweep is easy and anyone from individuals to groups like schools and churches can help, not to mention sites aren’t limited to main waterways. SCDNR says volunteers select any river, lake, swamp, beach, creek, or marsh area they wish to clean and can participate as a regular volunteer.

Litter pickup sites all over South Carolina have been designated from the coastal region to inland counties including our own York and Lancaster Counties. While these two counties have enough volunteers, there are others throughout South Carolina that still need your help in the effort to beautify South Carolina’s waterways.

Marshall says, “Look on our website for a planned cleanup happening near you, contact the site captain and offer your assistance with the cleanup.”

Additional Beach Sweep/River Sweep information

The Inland Coordinator is Bill Marshall and can be contacted at 803-734-9096 or

Interested in what other clean up sites there are around the state? Click here to find out.

Volunteers looking to join an existing cleanup group may contact site captains and offer assistance.

Beach Sweep/River Sweep is a not-for-profit volunteer effort that relies on state organizers,
sponsors, and volunteer participants. The state organizers that donate funds, staff time, and resources to the Sweep are:

South Carolina Sea Grant Consortium
South Carolina Department of Natural Resources
Numerous businesses and organizations sponsor this effort with monetary and in-kind
Area groups or individuals volunteer on the day of the Sweep to pick up debris