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'We have to take care of it': Volunteers clean up sand on sidewalk, debris on Fort Myers Beach

Beach clean-up
Posted at 12:15 PM, Feb 05, 2023
and last updated 2023-02-06 10:54:18-05

ESTERO ISLAND, Fla. — Volunteers spent Sunday morning cleaning up Fort Myers Beach of debris and sand during two different events — each with the same goal: making our beaches safer for people.

Linda Newton, who lives in San Carlos, got to Fort Myers Beach on Sunday at 8:30 a.m.

"Any little bit that anybody can do is a help," Newton said. "I raised my family here. My kids are here."

She brought a shovel and a broom, cleaning the sidewalk along Estero Boulevard. Her reasoning for coming out, she says, is to make the area enjoyable for everyone.

"Let’s try to make it safe for them to be able to walk and see their beach and see their town," Newton said.

At the same time, Tunaskin, an apparel store, held its 8th annual beach clean-up.

"Everyone just wants to help us recover and bring the town back," said Tisha Bayne, communications manager for Keep Lee County Beautiful. "We want to try and keep it safe by cleaning up the debris and broken glass and things like that."

They've been partnering with different organizations since Ian to clean up the debris large trucks can't grab.

With each piece of debris going into trucks and sand piling up on the sidewalk, it's one step closer to a sense of normalcy for our community.

"This is our place, we have to take care of it," Newton said. "Anytime you see a disaster like this you feel like any little thing you can do, you need to try and jump in and do it."