JACKSONVILLE BEACH, Fla. -- Jacksonville Beach is now cleaner thanks to some volunteers who got up early Friday morning. The annual July 5th Beaches Cleanup started at 7 a.m.
Dozens of people grabbed garbage bags and gloves to start cleaning up after the Fourth of July Fireworks.
"People leave a lot of trash out here, and it's pretty crazy that they don't clean up after themselves," said volunteer Brooke Simonds.
Some of this year's volunteers are members of the First Coast High School ROTC. Simonds and Cierra Vickers chose to wake up early during their summer break to help keep Jacksonville Beach beautiful.
"If we don't keep it clean, then all the people who come out here just are going to see we don't take care of ourselves. And it just shows that we want to give back to nature as they give to us," said Vickers.
The trash on the beach can wash out to shore, making it dangerous for wild life like fish, birds and the sea turtles that nest there. This year, there are 33 nests on Jacksonville Beach.
"As long as we keep the beaches clean, it actually gives them a chance to repopulate," says Vickers.
Jennifer Burns with Beaches Sea Turtle Patrol said she's thrilled to see the younger generations participate in this event.
"We know that when our time is done out here, people will be taking over where we left off so it's very heartening to see that," said Burns.