Coming Clean

August 2018
Written By: 
Julie Flanagan

Join in Beach Sweep/River Sweep on September 15 to help keep the Grand Strand beautiful

The chance to spend the day on the water is one of the best parts about being a Grand Strand local. Whether you’re fishing on the Intracoastal Waterway, lounging oceanfront with a beer and a paperback, tubing the Waccamaw River or dining with a beautiful marsh view, our native lifestyle revolves around the water. But nothing ruins these experiences like looking out and seeing strewn cigarette butts on the bank, soda bottles bobbing in the tide or fast food wrappers tossed on the sand mere feet from a trashcan.

Each year the South Carolina Sea Grant Consortium, in partnership with the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources and The Ocean Conservancy, organizes Beach Sweep/River Sweep. The South Carolina Sea Grant Consortium is a state agency that enhances economic opportunities and conservation of marine and coastal resources for the state’s citizens through education, extension, research and training. Beach Sweep/River Sweep is a statewide event and is the largest one-day litter cleanup of South Carolina’s beaches and waterways. Occurring the third Saturday in September, Beach Sweep/River Sweep attracts thousands across the state to volunteer to clear litter from our rivers, beaches, marshes, lakes and swamps. This year’s event will be held September 15.

Beach Sweep/River Sweep has been around since 1988 and is held in conjunction with The Ocean Conservancy’s International Coastal Cleanup, a day that involves several hundred thousand volunteers in more than 75 countries. The Ocean Conservancy is a non-profit environmental group that helps formulate ocean policy at the state and federal levels based on peer-reviewed science.

How can you help? Anyone is welcome and invited to participate in the event, including civic clubs, businesses, recreation clubs, families, individuals, church groups and schools. The volunteers can select any body of water they wish to clean and can participate as a regular volunteer or as a site captain. Site captains will organize and lead local cleanup efforts, which will be of varying sizes depending on location. You can also offer to help the site captain of your cleanup site.

BeachSweep/River Sweep Events - Saturday, September 15

Here are just a few of the local cleanups along the Grand Strand. For a full list of events and more information on how to volunteer, head to dnr.sc.gov/bsrs.



Huntington Beach State Park
16148 Ocean Highway, Murrells Inlet

Town of Surfside Beach 
Surfside Beach Pier

Murrells Inlet 2020 Fall Haul Community Cleanup
Murrells Inlet MarshWalk

Keep Horry County Beautiful Beach/River Sweep
1301 Second Ave., Conway

Coastal Bohemians Beach Cleanup Day
Apache Pier—Shore Drive

Resources: 

PHOTOGRAPHS BY AMANDA STURGEON AND COURTESY OF MURRELLS INLET 2020