WILDWOOD CREST – A group of lifeguards and surfers formed a non-profit organization to pick up and repurpose trash left on Wildwood Crest’s beaches.
The borough entered a partnership with Love Blue, founded by A.J. Caruso, a veteran Crest lifeguard, to remove trash on Crest beaches and educate the public about the importance of not littering on the beaches and in the ocean.
“It’s awful. That’s why I started it. I am sitting on my lifeguard stand, and there is trash washing up to me on the beach. I go and drag my stand back through where everyone is sitting at the end of the day when I’m getting off work. I’m picking up like 10 pounds of trash,” said Caruso. “It’s not that these are bad people. They just don’t realize. They’re not educated enough on where the trash ends up and the effects it has on the environment and marine life.”
Mayor Don Cabrera said he and commissioners agreed to pay Love Blue about $400 a week to perform the service, most of which is used to cover costs and materials. He emphasized the group’s passion and the way they will bring awareness to the issue, which, hopefully, will reduce the amount of future trash.
“When it’s just a public works guy in a green or orange t-shirt out there picking up, that’s different than having your beach patrol with a vision… I think it’s a better opportunity for awareness,” said Cabrera.
Caruso said Love Blue is working with manufacturing companies to try to recycle what they are finding. Those looking to get involved in the cleanup can visit Love Blue’s website, Caruso said.
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