ISLE OF PALMS, S.C. (WCBD) – The Isle of Palms (IOP) City Council on Tuesday will recognize the efforts of Howard Hogue, known by locals as ‘Beach Santa,’ for his work cleaning up the island’s beaches.
In 2017, the Moncks Corner man began picking up litter on IOP as a way to stay fit. During the pandemic, he “expanded his cleanup efforts around the tri-county Charleston region, including many of the area’s boat landings.”
He has picked up over 425,000 pieces of litter, collecting over 130,000 items from the IOP.
Hogue expects to exceed over a half a million pieces of litter collected by the end of 2021.
He will be honored with the Signal 30 Award, an award given by City Council “for special citizen service.”
Since its inception in 2002, only seven other people have been given the award. The last Signal 30 Award was given to Diane Oltorik in 2015 for the “creation of a medical loan closet to assist residents and visitors iwth special needs.”
IOP Mayor Jimmy Carroll said “Beach Santa has done an incredible service by helping to keep our island beautiful and protect the coastal ecosystem and public health from pollution. We cannot thank him enough for his astonishing volunteer efforts for our community and our Lowcountry neighbors. He is an inspiration and a great role model.”