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Volunteers needed to 'Keep It Beachy Clean' on Earth Day clean-up effort

As more trash piles up on beaches and other areas, a local eco-friendly organization is calling for more volunteers to help clean it up for Earth Day.

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — 'Keep It Beachy Clean' has a clean-up effort every year in November, but this year, organizers wanted to dedicate an event to honor Earth Day.

Christina Trapani is the owner of Eco Maniac Company, an organization dedicated to cleaning up the waterways in Hampton Roads.

She said Keep It Beachy Clean is a program out of Clean Virginia Waterways of Longwood University and her business is teaming up to make this event happen. She said it was originally supposed to start in 2020, but then had to be canceled due to COVID-19 concerns.

So, this year, Trapani said they are thrilled to finally hold a clean-up effort to be a part of the worldwide initiative of Earth Day. She said they have a good number of people signed up already but said they still need plenty of more volunteers. 

"We have eight spots. We are allowing up to 50 people per site and three of them are full right now, so other sites we only need a few people, but other sites we still need like 30 people," Trapani explained.

Several organizations and restaurants are participating in this effort, including Lynnhaven River Now. The organization's Shoreline Restoration Coordinator, Vincent Bowhers, said his group cleans up thousands of pounds of trash every month, but the effort is still not enough. He said he is happy to be a part of this event.

"The ditches along the roadways are pretty bad and those all lead to the waterways," said Bowhers. "Plastic and how long it lasts is astounding...it all plays into the problem and it does need to be an everyday thing."

Bowhers and Trapani said if more individuals take charge and clean up our area with even the smallest amount of effort -- it can make a big difference.

"It's not just important for the animals, but for humans, too! Nobody wants to step on glass or plastic along the beach," said Trapani. "We all have to work together to change some habits and just keep our neighborhoods, our parking lots, our parks...all of that clean." 

The 'Keep It Beachy Clean' Earth Day clean-up event goes from 4 p.m. until 6 p.m. Thursday, April 22. For a full list of locations and how to sign up, click here.

Author's Note: The video below is on file from April 29, 2019.