Local community leaders and residents came together to clean up Norriego Point on Saturday during the annual International Coastal Cleanup day.
Over 50 volunteers made a commitment and picked up every piece of trash they could find.
“All around the world, people are cleaning beaches and collecting information on what kind of trash is getting picked up,” said Choctawhatchee Basin Alliance Director Alison McDowell.
McDowell said volunteers came across mostly cigarette buns, water bottle caps, pieces of fireworks and plastic straws.
“Destin is dependent on our local waters and we need to keep them clean for our future generations. This will help spread awareness,” she said.
McDowell said the beach cleanup event is a way for people to start getting involved in taking care of the environment.
“It also affects marine life because plastic can break down into smaller pieces and animals will end up eating it, which is very harmful and can possible kill them,” she said.
Doug Rainer, the city’s spokesman, agreed on how it is important to keep public places clean.
“This will give people a better understanding and be more responsible of their actions when they are in our local beaches,” he said. “It was really nice to see the community come together for a great cause like this.”
Rainer said beach cleanup benefits all in Destin.
“It’s good for tourism, fishing, restaurants and most importantly the environment,” he said.
Randy Hickman was out on Saturday picking up any trash he saw.
“People have no idea how much trash is left behind,” he said. “We need to keep our beaches clean for future generations like my children.”
Hickman said he hopes locals and visitors will be more mindful and pick up after themselves.
“There are trash cans everywhere. It is so easy to just pick up your trash and throw it away,” he said. “It’s as simple as that."