Get Out: Busy weekend includes Beach Sweep/River Sweep, Super Hero 5K and Kiawah Island Triathlon
Thursday, September 13, 2012
As someone who likes to spend most of his free time outside ó usually running, biking and walking my dogs ó I see a lot of litter on our roadways and beaches.
Besides cigarette butts, which are as ubiquitous as palmetto bugs and mosquitoes this time of year, the most common litter I witness includes plastic grocery bags, plastic bottles (especially in water), foam cups, plastic lids and straws, beer cans and liquor bottles. On the beach, Iím also amazed at the amount of plastic childrenís toys left behind.
Despite stories about massive patches of trash, namely plastic, collecting and floating in our oceans just beneath the surface and the effect that trash has on wildlife, including fish that most of us eat, the efforts to curb and clean up litter havenít kept up with the problem.
But there are efforts.
Among the most effective, widespread effort takes place Saturday with the Ocean Conservancyís International Coastal Cleanup and, in the Palmetto State, the 24th annual Beach Sweep/River Sweep, coordinated by the S.C. Sea Grant Consortium and S.C. Department of Natural Resources.
Last year, more than 3,000 volunteers removed 20 tons of debris at 200 locations throughout the state. In its prior 23 years, the sweep has collected 1,100 tons of litter, some of which was recycled.
And while a one-day clean-up barely makes a dent in a 365-day-a-year problem, the point of the sweeps is as much about teaching youths (and adults) about respecting our beautiful shores and roadways as it is picking up trash. The cleanup also involves collecting data on trash for potential use in government policy decisions.
The official time frame for the sweep is 9 a.m.-noon, but because Mother Natureís tides donít always fit human schedules, those who want to head out in boats and watercraft, such as kayaks and paddleboards, can plan accordingly.
But please be counted. To sign up to be a team captain for a site or to join an existing team, go to www.scseagrant.org or contact Susan Ferris Hill at 953-2092 or email@example.com. For those inland, go to www.dnr.sc.gov/bsrs or contact Bill Marshall at 803-734-9096 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
And remember, you donít have to limit your efforts to picking up litter for the Beach Sweep/River Sweep. Like I said, itís an every day problem.
Super Hero 5K
Unfortunately for the Beach Sweep/River Sweep, some very fun charity events also are jammed into the same time frame, including the second annual Super Hero 5K at 9 a.m. on the West Ashley Greenway.
Participants are strongly urged to dress up as their favorite superhero for the run, which also features a post-race costume contest along with live music and food trucks. The registration fee is $25-$30 and $10 for kids. The event supports Yoga Benefits Kids.
For more, see the Facebook page for 2nd Annual Super Hero 5K.
Health care for the less fortunate continues to be the subject of national debate, but while the different sides battle, some are doing something about it.
CrossBridge Family Ministries is a nonprofit dedicated to helping families dealing with a life-changing medical crisis.
To help raise money and awareness for the cause, the group is holding a 5K Pancake Run at 8 a.m. Saturday at Laurel Hill Plantation, 1400 S.C. Highway 41 in Mount Pleasant.
More at www.cross-bridge.org.
Stand UP for Autism
Also related to family health, TD Bank will present the inaugural Stand UP for Autism Paddleboard racing event, in association with SUP Joey, to benefit Charleston Autism Academy.
The three-day event kicks off at the Cabana at Waters Edge at 8 p.m. Thursday with an auction. Races will be held Saturday, starting with a World Paddle Association-certified 7-mile elite race at 8 a.m., a 3-mile recreational paddle at 8:15 a.m. and a 1-mile kids race after that.
Check out www.sup4autism.weebly.com.
The grand finale for the weekend comes at 7:30 a.m. Sunday with the Kiawah Island Triathlon, which features a 1.5K ocean swim, 45K bike and 10K Run, staged from Beachwalker County Park.
Go to www.theextramileinc.com.