We woke up to a rainy day in Charleston, but regardless of the weather we had a full day planned. After some delicious waffles and strong coffee we headed to Folly Beach Fishing Pier for a cleanup we set up. Organizing events like this in communities far from Wilmington is hard, but thankfully we got support from local groups including, Surfrider Charleston Chapter and the College of Charleston Sustainability Office, who helped us get the word out. Because of the thunderstorms in the area and the persistent grey clouds, we didn't expect many people to make it out. So we were suprised to find a crowded beach at Folly Pier.
As we cleaned and talked to beach goers about Hope Spot: Hatteras, we met nothing but positivity and excitement for the initiative. The staff at the Folly Beach Fishing Pier even agreed to help us spread the word after we leave, by giving out flyers and information on Hope Spot: Hatteras.
Cleaning up the beach was a different story. Being a coastal community like our own Wilmington, we expected less trash on the beach or roughly the same as what we see on Wrightsville, however we found more. Mostly cigarette butts (we've proposed the pier put in cigarette butt disposal units -effective in many coastal communities- to combat this issue). Straws, bottle caps, beer cans, all typical of beach goers. As we cleaned we discussed the possibility of establishing Ocean Friendly Establishments here. By encouraging resturants to skip the straw perhaps we can help Charleston cut down on their plastic waste entering the ocean, especially since we're down (the Gulf) stream from them. With multiple suggestions for restuarants to scout out, we headed to the center of Charleston to check out the waterfront, College of Charleston and the South Carolina Aquarium!