Last Light on Tybee's Back River
Last Light on Tybee's Back River

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What's different about Tybee Clean Beach Volunteers?

A: First, cleaning the beach is our sole reason for being, and we do it frequently - usually on a weekly basis. Second, we clean every section of Tybee's three mile long beach, including the Back River and Savannah River stretches, dunes, marshes, and tidal ditches. Third, often we sort and count everything we collect until we can dispose of it responsibly through reuse or recycling. And finally - we use no plastic bags or gloves or plastic bottles as we do our work, since the goal is to reduce the amount of plastic on or near the beach.

Q: It seems like I need to commit to a lot of cleanings if I join?

A: We schedule lots of cleanings so that all of our members can join us on the dates and times that work best for their busy lifestyles. Even one hour a week from a small group of people adds up quickly. Any trash removed from the beach is a very positive thing, so no amount of beach cleaning time is too little. That's why our motto is cleaning up Tybee one bucket at a time!

Q: Do I need to buy anything or bring anything to join a walk?

A: No! We supply a clean, 5 gallon bucket (made from 100% post-consumer recycled plastic) and a state-of-the-art hand-held grabber for you to use while on the beach. Both are lightweight, and the grabber can be used repeatedly for long stretches without any discomfort. Dress according to the weather forecast, and remember that it gets pretty windy in the late afternoon. Windbreakers work great in the off season. Flip flops or shoes are recommended. We typically are on the beach for an hour or hour and a half.

Operating Principles

- We operate with a sense of urgency and take direct action to remove trash from the beach, as any trash left behind gets buried, leaches toxins, gets ingested, or is taken out to sea, all of which causes significant detrimental impact to Tybee's and Georgia's marine environment.

- We believe the beach should be as free from the negative impacts of human activity as is feasibly possible, at all times. 

- We pick up every bit of trash in the areas we deep clean, including in the dunes and wrack lines. We leave no trash behind, and restore the beach to its most natural state. 

- We believe that a visible presence of identifiable volunteers cleaning the beach on a regular basis encourages other beach goers to pick up their own trash. Studies show trash begets trash, and cleanliness begets cleanliness.

- We believe that counting and sorting trash collected from the beach allows us to develop and test methods to reduce beach trash, and allows for powerful visual images and data-driven solutions in our efforts to educate beach goers on the need to reduce all forms of marine debris.

- We dispose of all trash we collect in a responsible way, and try to recycle or reuse as much debris as possible.

- We support and seek to collaborate with all individuals and organizations that promote a clean beach environment.  We support all efforts to keep Tybee's beaches clean; we have a 'whatever works best' philosophy.

- We strive to make beach cleaning a fun, positive, and rewarding experience!