Ask Destinites: More People; More Trash


By Patricia Lee

During this past month there has been a lot of talk in our locals only Destinites Facebook Group about additional trash on the beach, as well as all around the area. Roll back to last month when my monthly article addressed overcrowding in our area and you’ll find the culprit. We have more visitors and new residents than ever before. Statistically speaking, it’s a given that we would be seeing more trash around our beautiful area and on our beaches. And, just who do we see about that? You guessed it. Look in the mirror. This is everybody’s problem and we are the solution.

I have seen more beach clean-up volunteer group efforts than in the past, but it is still not enough. More people need to volunteer. If you are a new resident here, this would be a great way for you to meet your neighbors, make new friends and get involved with the community. The following are few names you can contact on Facebook to get connected with beach clean-up days: Bobby Wagner, Wendi Townsend, Ebby Bond Stratton, The Divers Down Pollution Project, Erase The Trace Okaloosa and Coastal Community Cleanup. God bless these folks!

I have seen a lot of our group members say that the areas in front of the beach front restaurants are particularly heavy with trash; especially straws. We would all like to see restaurant owners take extra clean up measures, but they are short staffed right now. They don’t have enough workers to wait on tables much less go pick up trash. I’m sure they would appreciate a group who would be willing to help them out—a group who would be willing to focus on the restaurant front areas maybe. Grab your friends and neighbors and start one!

Toy bins: We need toy bins at all the beach entrances both public and private. So many visiting families do not want to take their beach toys home with them and just leave them on the beach. Toy bins would at least help that situation. Hotels or condo resorts could maybe have a bin in the lobby whereby they would weekly donate to a local charity. That is already being done in some other cities and we could do it here too—anything to keep people from leaving their toys and chairs out on the beach. Keeping our beaches clean is not just about preserving the beauty, but also to keep our turtles safe.

While we are on the subject of clean up, it’s not just the beaches that need extra attention. Parking lots all over the city are seeing more trash as well. Many of our group members have expressed wanting to see store owners be a little more aware and diligent about overseeing their property and keeping it clean. Meanwhile, if you step out of your car and see trash at your feet, please pick it up. Help the store owner out, who is also short staffed and would appreciate your kind gesture. We all need to step up our game on this trash issue to help our community stay safe and beautiful.

If you are a local and want to find out more about how to get involved with beach clean ups or community in general, please join our locals only Destinites group at We have roughly 5,000 members now. So, any help you need can probably be found there.

Patricia Lee, Owner –
Creator –