“We all have to do our part”

Published 5:05 pm Tuesday, June 6, 2023

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Suffolk families and residents came out Saturday morning to keep the city and its waters clean during the 34th annual Clean the Bay Day.

Held by Keep Suffolk Beautiful under the umbrella of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation’s regional event, volunteers turned out in their kayaks and on land to clean up the trash that pollutes the waterways. 

Including Suffolk, the Clean the Bay Day event in Virginia saw participants collect nearly 100,000 pounds of trash, which included the overall Hampton Roads area, Richmond, the Eastern Shore, Northern Virginia, Shenandoah Valley and Virginia State Parks.

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Locally, 125 volunteers met up at Constant’s Wharf Park and Marina, Lake Prince Boat Ramp and Sleepy Hole Park with about 3,500 pounds of trash removed across the city. 

Within the data, Public Works Community Outreach Coordinator Wayne Jones noted some “interesting finds” from the cleanup, such as plenty of fishing hooks and bobbers, a mailbox and even a treadmill dumped within the woods.

The event brought participation from both Boy Scouts Troop 16 and Cub Scouts Pack 89 from Driver.

Cub Scout Committee Chairman Zach Mazur said he is really happy with the event, noting he attended a previous cleanup in Nansemond. He emphasized how this year’s event was closer to their community.

“It’s great to be somewhere closer to home,” Mauzer said.

Cub Master Mike Carter of Pack 89 also said he hopes his scout members learn a “better sense of conservation in keeping our city clean” from their participation in Saturday’s event.

“Hopefully they learn these skills as they move up the ladder for the next generation,” Carter said of the lessons they can learn.

Suffolk resident Cyndi Suder, who was with her grandson Elliot Davis, said they want to show the community how things can be if they provide proper care to the world.

“We’re supposed to take care of the planet, and the next generation can learn from this,” Suder said. “We all have to do our part.”

Additionally, she wanted to show her grandson the value of keeping the city clean, saying that you can’t start too soon.

Davis agreed with his grandmother saying, “yeah, good.”

Suffolk Litter Control Coordinator Daniel McDonald said he believes Saturday’s clean up went “really well.” 

He reaffirmed that keeping the city clean is a community effort, not just the role of one division of the city.

“The stuff doesn’t pick up itself,” he said. “Sure there’s the city staff, but they can’t get out everywhere. It takes the [help of] the whole city.”

For more information on how to take part, go to visit Keep Suffolk Beautiful on Facebook or Instagram.