Volunteers participate in countywide cleanup
STEVENSVILLE — Nonprofit community and environmental groups, scouts, students, businesses and family groups joined in the Earth Week cleanup of Queen Anne’s County from April 16 to April 25.
County comissioners challenged residents to adopt a road and pick up trash. Free gloves, reflective vests, recycling and trash bags were provided. In all, 5,020 pounds of trash and 1,220 pounds of recycling were collected this year.
Kent Island Beach Cleanups founder Kristin Weed said her organization expanded their usual coverage area to include Hemingway’s beach and a roadside cleanup. She said the Heminway’s location was the worst she’s seen.
“The amount of wash up is heartbreaking. Millions and millions of microplastics, microstyrofoam, monofilament and more is found here. We split our some 36 volunteers into small groups along the short stretch of beach and literally had them sitting down just sifting through all the small bits of trash,” Weed said.
KIBCU plans to make the Hemingway’s beach one of its regular cleanup spots.
“It’s a perfect cleanup for groups, families and young children since parents can keep a watchful eye on their kids and the young ones tend to be more attentive to the smaller pieces of trash. And like I’ve mentioned to you in the past, this type of trash is actually the most damaging to our ecosystem and is the No. 1 growing problem in worldwide pollution today,” Weed said.
Another group of KIBCU volunteers worked to clean a stretch of Love Point Road near the high school and Cloverfields. A lot of the trash collected there was beer bottles and cans, water bottles, food wrappers and containers and cigarette butts. Cigarette butts are the No. 1 piece of trash most cleanup groups pick up, she said.
“We even had people driving by throwing trash out of their windows at my husband while he was cleaning,” Weed said.
Chesapeake Bay Environmental Center Executive Director Judy Wink lead a group of volunteers in a cleanup in Grasonville. Her group met near Fisherman’s Crab Deck, which volunteer its parking lot as a collection site.
The Queen Anne’s County Department of Public Works placed trash bins and trailers at various locations for volunteers to bring what they collected. On Monday, April 25, all the trash and recycling was weighed, then the trash was taken to the dump and the recycling to Infinity Recycling in Millington.
KI Beach Cleanups volunteers, led by founder Kristin Weed, left, gathered on the beach at Hemingway’s Restaurant beach front Saturday morning, April 23, where they collected an impressive amount of debris. Efforts by KIBCU will continue through the summer.
Speedy Toulson of Public Works tosses a trash bag on top the pile in the trailer at Chesapeake Heritage and Visitor Center.
Just a small sampling of the debris collected along the beachfront by volunteers Saturday, April 23.