Keep It Clean

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Get out on the water during the second annual Keep The Broad Creek Clean Festival.

Conservation is written into the DNA of Hilton Head Island. From the time the first shovel full of dirt was pulled up in Sea Pines, the island has been developed in a way that works with nature, respecting the ecological wonder we call home.

It’s that abiding respect for our natural beauty that led to the founding of the first Keep The Broad Creek Clean Festival last year. Crucial to continuing our local culture of conservation is passing that passion on to the next generation, and as such the festival puts the emphasis on youth. Event organizer The Outside Foundation is a local non-profit with a mission to get kids outside and to protect and preserve our local environment. The Foundation is dedicated to creating awareness, expanding knowledge, and developing a responsible understanding of nature and the environment.

Broad Creek Clean1From 3-5 p.m. Aug. 10 at Shelter Cove Harbour and Marina, volunteers young and old will take to Broad Creek in a fleet of kayaks to begin cleanup, scouring the waterway for garbage, flotsam and debris.  Broad Creek is heavily trafficked and one of our most visible waterways, so keeping it clean is both a monumental task and a rewarding one.

Last year’s event saw some 70 volunteers take to the water, paddling out as far as three miles from Shelter Cove in the search for plastic bags, golf balls and other garbage. This floating trash not only creates an obvious eyesore on Broad Creek, they can also be especially hazardous to marine life as well as the many birds that flock to our shores. By day’s end, these volunteers had pulled in several hundred pounds of garbage, everything from fishing line to scrap wod.

But the cleanup is only part of it. This free event offers an afternoon of fun educational events designed to teach children and their families about the importance of clean water in their community and daily lives, as well as how to protect their local watershed and prevent pollution.

Following the cleanup, the party will continue on land with crafts and activities on the harbor from 4-7 p.m. The Coastal Discovery Museum, The Port Royal Sound Foundation, The Coastal Conservation League, Beaufort Conservation District, Spartina Charters Turtle Ambulance, Turtle Trackers, The US Coast Guard Auxiliary, The Outside Foundation and others will be on hand with a series of educational displays and crafts. I2 Recycling will be on hand to help make sure any items found during the cleanup are properly recycled, such as electronics and batteries.

Broad Creek Clean2It all wraps up with the 6:30 p.m. announcement of the winner of a brand new kayak from Outside Hilton Head, the top prize in the free raffle and a live performance from Shannon Tanner at 7 p.m.

Free kayak rentals from Outside Hilton Head are available for the clean-up with reservations, which can be made by calling 843-686-6996. Please reserve early, as space is limited. The Outside Foundation will be providing all clean up supplies.

KEEP THE BROAD CREEK CLEAN

What: An afternoon of fun educational events designed to teach children and their families about the importance of clean water in their community and daily lives, as well as how to protect their local watershed and prevent pollution.

When: Thursday, August 10th, 3-5pm (kayak clean-up), 4-7pm (dockside events), 6:30pm (raffle drawing), 7pm (live music by Shannon Tanner)

Where: Shelter Cove Harbour and Marina, Hilton Head Island, SC

Who: Free and open to all ages