This past weekend, on 22 October 2016, the Georgia Sea Turtle Center, Rivers Alive and Satilla Riverkeeper organized a volunteer beach clean-up on Jekyll Island. Hurricane Matthew left debris everywhere and these organizations came together to help address the mess. Eight Jekyll Island Lions joined the effort.
Lions Rick, Kay, Gaye, Stan, Howard, Jim, Cathy and Pete followed the organizers’ online instructions and signed up using SignUpGenius. The announcement said to meet at 8:00 am in front of the Georgia Sea Turtle Center. The Lions and about another 25 other people showed up on time and waited around until an employee opened the door and told everyone they were supposed to meet at Great Dunes Park. The group piled into their vehicles and drove over there only to find it empty. Lions Cathy and Pete had heard a rumor earlier in the week that the target of this clean-up was St. Andrew’s Beach so they drove over there, found one of the organizers, and explained the situation. The organizer had also realized there was a communication problem when no one showed up and sent other coordinators to Great Dunes Park to meet the rest of the group. Once everyone was on the same page, the clean-up began.
The volunteers were divided into three general groups to pick up trash at St. Andrew’s Beach, the beach near Dexter Lane, and Driftwood Beach. The individuals in each group formed small teams. One of the team members was a “logger” using a form on a clipboard to catalog the garbage the team members picked up. The trash was then put into extra strong black plastic bags. After the clean-up was over, the collected trash was weighed. All of this information was gathered for research about the ocean.
It was quite windy and chilly that morning. After 2 hours of collecting garbage on the beach, everyone was glad to go home. The Lions provided about 16 volunteer hours and helped make the Jekyll Island beaches more appealing and safe.