Dozens clean up beach at Maumee Bay State Park

Published: Jun. 3, 2016 at 10:26 PM EDT
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With sunny skies and warmer weather, Friday was a great day to head to the beach. But some local volunteers hit the sand to do more than just soak up some rays.

Nearly sixty people combed the sand out at Maumee Bay for garbage.

They spent the day making the local beach friendlier for those who want to walk barefoot in the sand, while helping keep the area clean.

Dozens of beach-goers were out enjoying the sand and sun. Volunteers were focused on picking up trash.

Rachel Lohner is the Education Program Manager for the University of Toledo’s Lake Erie Center. She says, "I think it's a great event to raise awareness, to show people a great resource that we all have in our backyard, something important to our area and something we should all do our part to protect."

Lohner says this is the seventh year of UT's partnership with the Alliance for the Great Lakes.

The Barefoot Wine Company has sponsored recent cleanup projects around the state, vowing to prep Ohio's beaches for barefoot beach-goers.

Sutton Row is nine years old. He volunteered Friday, and tells 13abc, “It’s called the barefoot beach cleanup. I'm taking it literally."

This was his second time volunteering to pick up garbage. He explains that "beach cleanup and the road cleanups are a great opportunity to help nature."

He says he loves helping the environment, and volunteering helps him fulfill that passion.

"It makes me feel happy because nature will be alive for a long time. So many people are helping the environment with garbage and plastic and all that other stuff that can make animals die."

Organizers say nearly sixty people came out to the beach to help with the cleanup. They say protecting and restoring the lake is crucial for the state of Ohio.

Crystal Davis works as a Policy Director with the Cleveland office of the Alliance for the Great Lakes. She says beach cleanups are "a core part of who we are as an organization. We focus on policy and protection and the Adopt-a-Beach program."