DESTIN, Fla. (WKRG) — The few that call Destin, Fla. home are picking up after the big holiday weekend.

Several clean-up events are being held on Saturday, July 9 to remove independence day trash from the beaches and waterways.

Ebby Stratton and Janet Marcus are promoting a clean-up on the East side of Destin beaches. The Divers Down Pollution Project is cleaning under the surface around Destin harbor.

“I was just in Alabama, in Perdido Key and Gulf Shores and I was so impressed how I didn’t see trash and it’s just as crowded of an area, if not more so and yet I didn’t see any,” said Marcus. “And coming back across Okaloosa Island two days ago, It was appalling.”

Stratton said the July 4 weekend brings in unique trash that needs to be removed. She said her husband and friends have picked up bucket-loads of firework trash this week around Destin.

“There’s incidental trash, like a little straw and a little wrapper,” said Stratton. “And then there’s the horrific trash like the ‘we had a great time at the beach last night or yesterday and we just left all of our beer cans and beer bottles, and food and we just left everything here because we’re hoping somebody else will pick it up’.”

Bobby Wagner with DDPP said trash in the water increases after major holidays alongside the boat traffic.

“So just like anything after a big holiday weekend like 4th of July, a lot of things get over-boarded, a lot of things get accidentally thrown out,” said Wagner. “So it’s just our responsibility to clean up after ourselves and after our guests and really just make sure that we protect our environment. In this case, our waterways.”

Clean-up event info:

  • Beach Clean Up
    • 7:30 a.m. at The Crab Trap in Destin
    • Bring your own trash grabber, buckets and gloves
    • Refreshments and plastic bags will be provided
    • All are welcome
  • Dive Clean Up

The women said anyone can organize a beach clean-up and promote it on local pages. The group scheduled clean-ups as needed.

“I mean it’s just like nothing, that’s super-duper planned,” said Stratton. “We just kind of see it, and then we address it and say, let’s go clean it up. “

Tips for Tourists:

  • Always take a garbage bag to the beach
  • Pick up any trash you find
  • Take everything you brought with you
  • If the trash can is full, take the bag with you and find a local dumpster
  • Fill in any holes on the beach
    • These can be harmful to native sea turtles, first responders and beachgoers.