A new student-run ocean conservation club has made its way to the shores of Myrtle Beach.
Love Blue is a nonprofit organization created by Coastal student AJ Caruso. Love Blue started in Caruso’s hometown of Wildwood, New Jersey as a few friends going to pick up trash on the beach. It has now evolved into a movement, with over 1,200 followers on Instagram. Caruso is a lifeguard and surfer and he sees firsthand how pollution effects the beaches every day.
Love Blue first made headlines in Myrtle Beach with its successful beach cleanup day on Sept. 11. The cleanup was located at 13th Avenue beach near the Sky Wheel. This was Love Blue’s 15th cleanup. So far, the members of the organization have collected more than 2,000 pounds of waste off the shores of the east coast.
Close to 100 people showed up to the event, including Coastal students and non-student locals. There were buckets, gloves, trash-pickers and hand sanitizer supplied for all volunteers. Volunteers split off into four groups, each led by a Love Blue representative. Caruso explained that although there was an exceptionally limited amount of trash on the beach that day, the purpose of the event was equally about sending a message.
“We are the generation that will make the change,” he said to the volunteers.
The Love Blue movement does not end at Myrtle Beach’s city limits, Caruso explained.
“My team and I plan on spreading our message and establishing cleanups at different schools all up and down the East Coast,” he said.
Caruso has shared the “Blue Movement” has reached Stockton University and University of North Carolina Wilmington. Additionally, there are now river and lake clean ups conducted in West Chester and Gettysburg Universities in Pennsylvania.
“We eventually want to cover all the coasts of the United States,” he said.
Love Blue now hosts weekly beach clean ups in the Myrtle Beach area and invites everyone to come out and join the Blue Movement. To support the cause and find out more about the next event, you can follow Love Blue on Instagram at @1oveblue and follow their hashtag #bluemovement.