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River cleanup Saturday

The annual St. Mary’s River cleanup is Saturday, March 22 at the Steel Bridge Road boat ramp.

The cleanup organized by the St. Mary’s River Management Committee will get underway at 8 a.m. Garbage bags and gloves will be supplied, but other protective gear like sunscreen, sunglasses, hats and durable shoes are recommended.

After the cleanup, volunteers may enjoy a lunch and celebration at White Oak Plantation starting at 11:30 a.m. in Yulee. The address is 581705 White Oak Rd.

The committee’s Kevin Shell said organizers are soliciting volunteers to participate in the effort as usual, but they also need additional help to expand the cleanup.

Today the Steel Bridge Road boat ramp, commonly referred to as the Boy Scout camp, is the only cleanup site in the county and one of 20 sites in Florida and Georgia. It’s also one of just two public access points to the river. The other is near Baxter.

Baker County’s site captain for the cleanup, Greg Sheppard, who is also on the committee, said if any private property owners along the river would allow volunteers to access their riverfront for the cleanup, additional sites could be added there as well.

But more sites means more site captains.

That’s why Mr. Shell is seeking additional site captain volunteers to oversee collection at any new sites. Captains would man a particular location, hand out supplies, register volunteers and gather trash bags for pickup.

The cleanup could be expanded into the river, rather than just its banks, if volunteers had access to a boat, he added.

“I have a kayak and a canoe, but I don’t think they will hold much trash,” said Mr. Sheppard.

Anyone who would like offer assistance with the cleanup is urged to call Mr. Sheppard at (904) 314-2887 or contact him by e-mail at shepfla@gmail.com.

For more information about the committee and cleanup online, click here.

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