Volunteers clean up marsh just in time for Bridge Run - WCBD-TV: News, Weather, and Sports for Charleston, SC

Volunteers clean up marsh just in time for Cooper River Bridge Run

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It starts small, but makes a big difference.

"There are some Sundays where I've gotten up and gone running and seen a bunch of trash and we've gone back out there later with some plastic bags and just tried to grab, you know, two that we can," said Guinn Garrett, a volunteer.

Volunteers like Garrett grabbed about 30 bags of trash Wednesday in downtown Charleston.

Organizers of the marsh cleanup event say the area under the Ravenel Bridge was flooded with trash.

"I'm really surprised of how much garbage is still left out there," said Marty Morganello, with the Charleston Chapter of the Surfrider Foundation. "We barely scratched the surface."

For two hours, volunteers were up to their knees in water and mud in the marsh. They collected everything from tooth brushes to car batteries, and organizers say it's just in time for the Cooper River Bridge Run.

"It was perfect timing," explained Jennifer Scales, with Keep Charleston Beautiful. "Surfrider came to us, and we know the Bridge Run is right around the corner. We would love knowing that the many thousands of people coming over this bridge in Charleston, for the first thing they see is for it to be clean."

The City of Charleston's Keep Charleston Beautiful and the Charleston Chapter of Surfrider Foundation hosted the cleanup to remove litter from the area.

"I think litter prevention is really important," added Garrett. "A lot of people don't realize that the water that's on our land ends up in our waterways."

Wednesday's cleanup will not only help keep the marsh clean and safe for wildlife, it will help maintain the beauty of the area, but the work isn't done yet.

"You can't take two steps without seeing a bottle," Morganello said. "It's like it was an old dump at one time or something."

Another cleanup event has already been planned for next month.

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