Sarasota County stepping up efforts to keep beaches clean

SIESTA KEY, Fla. (WFLA) – When you are designated “the best beach in America,” you can be sure you’re going to get visitors. 

Siesta Key Beach earned that distinction back in May. County officials want to make sure the beach keeps up with its reputation, so they’re stepping up their cleanup efforts this holiday.

“Every year, right around the fourth, it seems it gets super, super packed,” said Sarasota County resident Taygen Sufferling.

The beach was packed during Memorial Day weekend too, and visitors left their mark. After that holiday weekend, Siesta Key Beach was trashed. In fact, the county said there were 48 tons of trash picked up that holiday around county beaches.

“Since we’re from here, its disrespect to us, ’cause this is where we’re from and sucks to see people ruin it and not give a care,” said Sufferling.

The county is stepping up its efforts. Each day during this extended Independence Day weekend, volunteers have been handing out trash bags and cleaning up litter.

Across the area, the county has increased the number of trash cans and cigarette receptacles. Locals are doing their part too.

“If anybody sees trash, as soon as you walk by, you don’t sit there and leave it, you pick it up and put it in the trash can. There’s always trash bags everywhere,” said Sufferling.

Aside from aesthetics, keeping the beach clean will protect local wildlife who may confuse it for food.

“Take care of our world,” said beachgoer Bernard Dorsey.

“That’s just sad…this beach needs to be taken care of,” said beachgoer Blake Boyles.

Locals here are proud of Siesta Key’s worldwide recognition and they want to keep it that way.

“If it’s not beautiful, who’s gonna wanna come back?” asked Sufferling.

County volunteers will also be in Siesta Key first thing July 5th to clean up anything that was left behind.

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