COLUMBIA, S.C. -- Thousands of volunteers are heading to South Carolina’s beaches and waterways to clean up after litterbugs.

The 24th annual Beach Sweep/River Sweep gets under way Saturday morning. The event is South Carolina’s largest one-day litter cleanup of beaches, marshes and waterways.

The state Department of Natural Resources and state Sea Grant Consortium are organizing the event. Everyone is invited to participate, either by picking a section to clean or assisting another group of volunteers.

Last year, more than 3,000 volunteers removed 20 tons of litter from state beaches, marshes, rivers and other waterways. Nearly 1,100 tons of litter has been collected over the last 23 years. Much of it was recycled.