Volunteers gather to help clean the St. Johns River in Sanford

Seminole County's solid waste and watershed management divisions, the City of Sanford, and the St. Johns Riverkeeper all worked together this Earth Day for a St. Johns River cleanup. "It just makes me happy to get all the trash and help the environment," said Soledad Adam, a student volunteer.

Adam was one of more than 200 volunteers who showed up to protect Seminole County's waterways by picking up litter from the St. Johns River and shoreline. "It worked perfectly, this year. Earth Day is falling on a Saturday. So this is our inaugural St. Johns River Cleanup," said Oliver Bond, Solid Waste Division Manager.

Volunteers collected trash on foot, from kayaks, and motorized boats at Seminole County parks and along Sanford’s Riverwalk. "Some people will drop their trash out of cars, we get a lot of walkers, exercisers, and fishermen. So we get a lot of fishing line, bottles, drinks, mainly that sort of things," Bond said.

All trash that harms the land and also washes into the river, polluting the water, too. "I walk by here all the time. There are a lot of stuff that needs to be cleaned up in the river, and on the river walk here and everything," said volunteer Bo Courtenay.

Organizers handed out free t-shirts to volunteers and shared information about preserving the river during the clean-up. They plan to make this an annual event.