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Pitch in to clean up beaches

Bugged by all the junk in the sand? Join the crowd Saturday.

Published October 18, 2006

No one likes a dirty beach. So why not help clean it up?

On Saturday morning from 9 to 11, St. Pete Beach is hosting the second of its twice-a-year beach cleanup days.

Organizers from the city's recreation department will mobilize teams to remove litter and debris from the shores of local beaches.

Some volunteers will start at Upham Beach and head south. Others will begin at Pass-a-Grille and work north.

Picking up aluminum cans and glass bottles is the easy part.

Saturday's event is designed to clean up everything, including "things that people normally don't go after," like cigarette butts and tiny pieces of plastic, said Helen Wertel, a project manager with the city's public works.

Plastic bags and gloves will be given to all participants.

"You clean up the beach for pride," Wertel said. "It's supposed to be clean and it never is."

Don't be surprised to find pollution oddities, like the occasional car tire or household appliance.

During the year's first cleanup, in March, tourists found a washing machine buried in the sand.

"You wouldn't believe what people find out there," said Mary-Jo Golliner, a recreation leader for the city.

Registration begins at 8:30 a.m. near the concession stands at Upham and Pass-a-Grille beaches.

Groups of five or more are encouraged to register in advance in order to secure their own area.

Participants are encouraged to wear closed-toes shoes and plenty of sunscreen or ponchos. The event is rain or shine.

For more information, call 363-2146.

Casey Cora can be reached at 727 580-1542 or at

[Last modified October 17, 2006, 21:42:02]

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