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Virginia Beach community gathers to help clean up the Oceanfront in International Coastal Cleanup

Every September, volunteers work together as part of the annual International Coastal Cleanup.

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — In Virginia Beach, scores of people woke up early on Saturday morning to pick up litter at the beach and boardwalk. 

It’s all part of the International Coastal Cleanup. Colin Jesse of Virginia Beach Parks and Recreation helped organize the Virginia Beach leg of the event.

“We have about 400 plus volunteers today who are all out here to clean the environment from the ocean to Atlantic Avenue," Jesse said.

The cleanup also stretched from 35th Street down to 1st Street.

Jesse explained: around the world, every September, volunteers pick up hundreds of pounds of trash in a single day.

“A cleanup [the International Coastal Cleanup] had recently pulled about 600 pounds. So we’re looking anywhere from 200 to 600 hopefully today," Jesse said.

He said trash can accumulate in the area easily, usually thanks to beach-goers.

“Tourists or locals - it doesn’t matter," he said. "When the wind picks up, it just pulls stuff out of the trash can, it will pull stuff from locally out into the Oceanfront. So that’s why it’s important we get out here and just clean up.”

Volunteers of all ages grabbed garbage bags, buckets and trash pickers and got to work. Jesse said cleanup events like this one are meant to keep neighborhoods, and the ocean, clean. He said he appreciates that hundreds of people showed up to help.

"It means a lot. It really just lets us know that there are people out there that care about the environment. I think that’s important," he said.

Since the International Coastal Cleanup started 35 years ago, more than 17 million volunteers have collected more than 348 million pounds of trash.

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