Fresh off the heels of a cleanup along the eastern coast of Drum Island, Wounded Nature - Working Veterans CEO Rudy Socha said his group needs volunteers and donors to help further its mission of clearing litter and debris from rural shorelines.
The veterans and other volunteers of the nonprofit organization collaborate with the S.C. Department of Natural Resources to pinpoint areas in most need of attention. In coming months, the group plans to target much of the Cooper River marshland, patches of land offshore of Johns Island and other areas spanning the thousands of miles of eastern coastline that aren't already maintained by municipalities.
"We've got enough requests to keep us busy for the next 10 years," Socha recently said while planning for future cleanups.
What he doesn't have a surplus of are the hands, funds and other materials needed to get the job done. Each cleanup typically requires the use of burlap sacks, dumpsters and jon boats to transport volunteers and trash throughout the marshland, he said.
In its most recent trip to Drum Island, volunteers reportedly filled burlap sacks and dumpsters with 12 cubic yards worth of debris, including nearly 100 glass bottles, 10 tires, a mini fridge, rope, fishing line, aluminum cans and cardboard.
The items pose a danger to the local ecosystem as dolphins, sea turtles and other animals could choke on pieces of trash, Socha said. Fish, shrimp and oysters could also consume carcinogenic chemicals that seep from old lumber from docks and piers, he said.
Brian McBride, owner of Indigo East Gallery, recently agreed to aide the team of workers by refashioning lumber that's pulled from the water into "unique and exotic" furniture and works of art.
"It's the kind of furniture you can't easily find, as far as the style of wood," McBride said.
Half of the proceeds that are made from the furniture sales will help fund future Wounded Nature projects, McBride said.
Reach Christina Elmore at 937-5908 or at Twitter.com/celmorePC.