Alarmed by the amount of clutter and debris along the shoreline she encountered on her weekend visits to the beach, Delray Beach resident Julie Travis became determined to take action.
“Every time I go to the beach, more so recently, it’s covered in trash,” Travis says. “I was sick of looking at trash and people leaving their cigarettes everywhere.”
After asking a friend to join her in a beach cleanup, Travis quickly realized they needed more help if they wanted to make a genuine impact. So to generate more people involved with the cause, Travis formed the ‘Trashy Mermaids,’ a female group of dedicated volunteers that conduct monthly sweeps to clean any trash they encounter, including cigarette butts, bottle caps, food and wrappers and a bevy of plastic items.
“I love the beach,” she says. “I don’t like what’s happening to it and I also love mermaids. I’m really excited about the momentum this has taken. When people see us picking up trash, they come and say thanks and ask how they can help.”
After successful beach cleanups on May 21 and June 5 with about 15 to 20 people, the group is hosting another cleaning session at 9 a.m. on July 3 and will return for one Saturday a month.
“We have to keep it clean for the next generation,” Travis says.