MURRELLS INLET, SC (WBTW) – The Murrells Inlet community came together for the 28th Annual Spring Tide Community Clean-up on Sunday. Nearly 300 volunteers collected trash from the road and the water.
“It’s the best day of the Inlet year; definitely it is,” Chip Smith, one of the founders of the Spring Tide Clean-up said.
Originally, the event got its start following Hurricane Hugo in 1989; Smith says even a couple of years after the storm, the Inlet was still clogged with trash.
“It occurred to me that if we got everybody in this good-willed community together on one day, with the right equipment, everybody donating their time and their expertise, that in one day we could make a huge dent,” Smith said.
During the first clean-up, 600 volunteers collected around 70 tons of trash.
The Spring Tide Clean-up has been an annual event ever since.
“It just makes me really proud and excited to have people that live around me and live in my community that care about what they live and that want to take cleaning up and the responsibility of that into their own hands,” Meredith Harrison, Executive Director of Murrells Inlet 2020 said.
The Spring Tide Clean-up draws around 200 volunteers each year. Last year, they collected six tons of trash from the water and on the streets.
“The guys on the boats find old piers and old docks and floating stuff like that and bring it back, and we’re able to get it out of the creek, and then we always find a ton of trash out on the roads too,” Harrison said.
The clean-up’s purpose has remained the same 28 years later, and Smith says the community’s work shows.
“This effort and plus one boating, which says to boaters don’t just litter, pick up a piece of litter every time that you’re out, really has made a huge difference,” Smith said.