‘Friends of A1A’ organization to remove trash cans from beaches

ST. AUGUSTINE BEACH, Fla. — Adam Morley is the vice president of Friends of A1A Historic & Scenic Byway. He’s made a career out of collecting trash from waterways and beaches.

He’s found that most litter is unintentional.

“Trash cans are overflowing, birds, winds, pests get into those trash cans and spread it about,” Morley said.

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Starting June 1, Friends of A1A is launching “Pack It In, Pack It Out”, an initiative aiming to do away with garbage cans at the River to Sea Preserve near Marineland in Flagler County.

Morley says if that’s successful, the organization plans to do the same along the A1A Corridor in Duval and St. Johns counties.

“The general population, we believe — given the right time and information — will be happy to do their part in keeping our beaches and waterways clean by packing in and packing out,” Morley added.

Morley goes out on his boat, which he calls the Litter Gitter, several times a week, picking up trash from the waterways. But something interesting he says he’s noticed is within the last several years he’s found dozens of trash cans on the water.

Off the water and on the sand, you’ll find Eric Stanion. He’s been de-littering St. Augustine’s beaches for several months.

“This is just a walk yesterday,” he said, showing off almost 3 pounds of trash he collected from Butler Beach. “You name it, we find it.”

Stanion has been documenting his cleanups on social media. He’s even inspired others to do the same.

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Stanion thinks eliminating trash cans is a bad idea.

“I think we’re gonna be picking up more garbage, honestly: people are people and they drop stuff,” Stanion said.

But what Morley and Stanion both have in common is their love of nature, and efforts at keeping the beaches and waterways beautiful and clean.