DESTIN — JJ Chambers and his wife Christy were enjoying their regular walk around the Destin jetties last Friday evening when they spotted two young men pulling discarded items from the rocks.
"I stopped them and asked if they were being paid," said recalled JJ. "One of them is from Niceville. I said, 'You had to pay $6 (tolls) to go back and forth to do this?' "
One of the young men, Chandler Clark, a Destin resident and owner of Sail Destin, said he and his friend, Niceville resident Anthony Klein, had noticed a large amount of trash in the jetties while out on charters. When he asked Klein what he wanted to do to celebrate his birthday last week, Klein said he wanted to clean up the beach, hang out and watch the sunset.
That's just what they did.
"We collected four large trash bags (of garbage)," said Clark Monday afternoon. "And there's still a lot more trash out there."
Clark said he and Klein will regularly pick up trash as they come across it at the beach. When they see trash floating in the water, Clark said they'll do a "man overboard" operation to dive in and pick it up. But last Friday was the first time they two went out "on a mission" to pick up trash, Clark said.
"I just hate to see anything that doesn't belong," said Clark. "It doesn't take anything to carry your trash to the trash can. If everybody just took away what they bring to the beach there wouldn't be any trash."
Chambers has lived in Destin for 20 years and in the Destin Pointe area for the past 12 years. He said it can be hard to keep up with the trash collected in the jetties.
"The jetties collect everything from every storm," he said. "Every once in a while there's a major beach clean-up effort, but that hasn't been done in a long time."
While Clark and Klein weren't looking for any publicity, Chambers took a few photos of their good deed. It was an act that restored his faith in humanity, he said.
"They're both just really nice guys and I think they did a nice job."