SULLIVAN’S ISLAND, S.C. (WCBD) – If you spend any time at the beach on Sullivan’s Island, you have probably seen Jeff Parrish, his dog Elvis, and their bright green trash bags.
When Parrish and Elvis moved here about seven years ago, they didn’t know many people. They walked the beach every day as a way to get out and socialize. During their walks, Parrish noticed people cleaning up the beaches and decided he wanted to get involved.
Now, Parrish and Elvis are joined on their walks by a large group, all identifiable by the bright green bags they carry to collect the trash.
The bags are provided by the Town of Sullivan’s Island, thanks to Parrish’s advocacy. He went to a Town Council meeting and proposed he and his group provide the labor if the town provided the supplies. Now, Sullivan’s Island allots around $1,200 a year for the bright green bags used to keep the beaches clean.
Sometimes the group is as small as two or three, and other days dozens of people show up. No matter how big or small, Parrish and his group walk from Station 30 down to the water tower picking up cans, bottles, cigarette buds, and all kinds of other trash along the way.
“We certainly like to call ourselves the cleanest beach in America,” Parrish said. And he is doing his part to keep it that way.
Parrish doesn’t measure how much trash he collects. “I can’t even imagine. It’s been tons,” he said. But it doesn’t matter as long as it’s not in the ocean.