Instead of making sandcastles or splashing around in the water Saturday at Sherwood Island State Park, Katarina Delgado and Eleanna Ventura helped clean up the parks East Beach.
Visiting Westport from the Bronx, Katarina, 10, her mother, Marisol Delgado, and Eleanna, 8, joined more than a dozen other volunteers for the Beach Rescue Project, hosted by the Connecticut Chapter of the Surfrider Foundation and Barefoot Wine.
"I think it's great," Delgado said. "Some people can be so inconsiderate; this is supposed to be a place people can enjoy. That's why we come here."
Delgado, who does not belong to either group, said she and the girls were curious about the tents, and before she knew it, they were walking around the beach picking up trash.
"We cleaned up as much as we could," she said, adding that most of their finds included bottle caps, straw wrappers, soda cans, water bottles and plastic bags.
Like Delgaldo, volunteers Elizabeth Jacobs of Westchester and her daughters, Katie, 9, and Julia, 5, had not known about the cleanup.
"It's a really great idea," Jacobs said. "More people should get involved." Katie shared her mother's sentiment. "It's important to keep beaches clean," she said as she carried her filling trash bag. "There's animals, and the germs on the trash can kill them."
Every summer, the Surfrider Foundation and Barefoot Wine, national organizations based in California, team up and host Beach Rescue Projects across the country.
Surfriders Connecticut Chapter hosts beach cleanups across the state.
Andrew Krupa, an executive board member of Surfriders Connecticut Chapter, said they chose Sherwood Island because they "needed to pick a beach in Fairfield County, and because of the plastic bag ban [in Westport], which we supported, we thought of Westport, and [Sherwood Island] is one of the bigger beaches."
Click here to sign up for Daily Voice's free daily emails and news alerts.