By MADDY VITALE
All anyone who loves the beach, the environment and Sea Isle City has to do is show up at JFK Boulevard and the Promenade on Saturday April, 17 at 10 a.m.
They will be greeted by members of the city’s Environmental Commission who will give out supplies for volunteers to tote while patrolling the sands for litter and debris.
Environmental Commission Chairwoman Annette Lombardo said Sunday that the cleanup, in its 35th year, is an extremely important event.
Last year’s cleanups in both the spring and fall were canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“With all of the storms and the winds this year, we really need it,” Lombardo said of the cleanup.
Lombardo said that the commission does not expect a large crowd for the event that runs from 10 a.m. to noon. However, no matter how many volunteers show up, there will be plenty of room for social distancing.
“We give families a block to do. There are 93 blocks,” Lombardo noted of the length of the beach blocks.
Over the years, the cleanups have often been a huge success with as many as 200 environmentally-conscious people volunteering their time to help the community stay clean.
“People are proud of our beaches. The Public Works Department does a great job, but every little bit helps,” Lombardo said. “I know people who go out for a walk in the morning and they bring a bag just to collect litter. I find more people are volunteering these days. They are more concerned about a lot of things, including the environment.”
Lombardo stressed the importance of keeping the dunes, beaches and ocean as clean as possible – especially in a town that wants to look spotless when throngs of vacationers arrive for the summer season beginning Memorial Day weekend.
“It’s very much inviting,” she said. “It’s not like having a sloppy house. When you have a sloppy house, people won’t come back.”
She said that this year’s spring cleanup will be low-key compared to other years because there won’t be giveaways or a luncheon afterward for the volunteers.
But, she said, it will be a good time outdoors for families and a very productive time thanks to the volunteers who will help to maintain the spotless atmosphere on the city’s beaches.
“I think the majority of the people come to clean up the beaches, not for the giveaways,” Lombardo said.
The Environmental Commission plans to compile a report later on that will detail the types of litter that were picked up and the amount.