In attempt to purge litter from the beach, Sullivan's Island is promoting conservation with a 'Summertime Sweep.' More than just encouraging green-thumb efforts, the summer-long initiative will double as an incentivized contest.
In comparison to neighboring volunteer beach cleanup programs, Sullivan's version will be organized differently with a more flexible schedule for volunteers.
Originally spearheaded by the Recreation Committee, the contest is limited for children under 18 to canvas the beach and pick up as much trash as possible. Unlike the Isle of Palms Cleanup Crew, Sullivan's Summertime Sweep will not be on select weekdays or weekends. The hours of trash collection will be at the individual's discretion.
"It should be a fun way to keep the beaches clean, to help get kids outside and to help educate children the importance of removing litter," said Greg Hammond, councilmember and Recreation Committee member.
Participants will bring their trash to a designated drop-off location(s) to have it weighed and recorded. The waste sites have not been disclosed to the public at this time. The person(s) who collects the largest amount of debris by the end of summer will win a prize.
"We need to make sure that the prize is sufficiently hefty to encourage involvement, but not enough to encourage cheating," Hammond said.
Mayor Pat O'Neil concurred about keeping citizens' conservation efforts honest.
"We'll need to lock up the dumpsters," O'Neil joked in a cheerful manner.
Hammond said more importantly the results will serve as a barometer for how much trash is currently on the beach, to help gauge future cleanup efforts. Sullivan's Island could not provide any up-to-date litter statistics by the time of this article's publication.
The Recreation Committee is accepting private donations and commercial district business contributions to fund the contest. Contest dates and prize details are in the preliminary stages of planning, no further details have been finalized at this time.