Juniors clean up the beach
Juniors Samantha Cannon and India Sayers picked up trash on St. Andrews beach, Jekyll Island on Sunday, Mar. 20. Cannon, a vocal environmental activist through social media and volunteer activities, decided to undertake the project to celebrate her birthday.
“I saw the opportunity to clean a beach and I’d been wanting to do a beach clean up for a while and since it ended up being on my birthday, I thought, ‘perfect!’ Because I love the ocean and care about it so much, I couldn’t think of anything I would rather do,” Cannon said.
The beach cleanup was organized through The Surfrider Foundation and The Georgia Sea Turtle Center. The Surfrider Foundation’s mission is “dedicated to the protection and enjoyment of the world’s ocean, waves and beaches through a powerful activist network,” according to their website.
The Georgia Sea Turtle Center aims “to increase awareness of habitat and wildlife conservation challenges, promote responsibility for ecosystem health and empower individuals to act logically regionally, and globally to protect the environment.”
The purpose of both organizations align with Cannon’s own ideas about furthering people’s education and involvement in environmental activism.
She described the experience as “incredible.”
“We walked all along the beach for about two and a half hours picking up any trash or foreign object we found,” Cannon said. “I was shocked, particularly with how many cigarettes and clumps of plastic fishing line we found. I felt good though, because we were getting it up and off the beach.”
Sayers, was with Cannon when they were inspired by an ad on the internet.
“She got me to go,” Sayers said. Her excitement got me excited and now that I’ve actually cleaned a beach officially, I’m more than ready to do it again.”
Cannon plans to continue cleaning beaches.
“I can’t wait to do it again,” she said.
Cannon feels bad because there were minor amounts of trash left on the beach after their clean-up. She still remains optimistic.
“It’s ok though,” she said. “I’m sure someone will pick it up on the next clean-up.”
Photos courtesy of Samantha Cannon