Dozens of volunteers lent a helping hand Sunday to clean up Riverview Park as part of the St. Johns River Keeper’s monthly day of service.
Warren Smith and Sergio Ruiz were two teens who attended the trash pick-up along the Trout River.
“I’m here for community service hours, just for school. I’m working on a scholarship, and I also just want to become more active in the Jacksonville community,” Smith said.
Ruiz also participated for community service hours, but he had other motivations as well.
“At the same time, with the option to do something online or inside your house or whatnot, why not go outside and make a difference,” Ruiz said.
This is something Stephanie Morse, who is the outreach and engagement specialist for the St. Johns River Keeper, does all the time.
“So, this morning actually there were several bags over the boat ramp that we discovered were probably four or five bags that were full of blue crabs. Not shells, but full blue crabs. We don’t know where they came from, but someone came out here and dumped them,” Morse said.
In the past, the Trout River was known as a site for illegal trash dumping, so those stinky discoveries didn’t surprise Morse or others.
Instead, the organization is focusing on a bigger goal: “Our goal as an organization is to protect the St. Johns River. We speak on behalf to the river, advocate for its health, and the health of the communities that live on it,” Morse said.