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Wounded Nature turns focus to decades of trash left in Charleston's harbor

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) -- A Lowcountry group is working to clean up decades of trash left along Charleston's shores. On Saturday, Wounded Nature focused their effort on the thousands of bottles sitting below the Ravenel Bridge.

Volunteers estimate there are 25,000 bottles along the coastline of the Ravenel Bridge.

Rudy Socha, the CEO of Wounded Nature for Working Veterans says the bottles have been there since the 50s and have never been cleaned up.

"Up the street there was a trash incinerator, and what they did was with the material that couldn't be incinerated, the metal went into the scrap yard and the glass went into the marsh," said Socha.

Over the years, the group has cleaned up more than 100 tons of trash along the South Carolina coastline. Socha says the bottles in the marsh under the bridge are harming the sea creatures.

"It's prevented the density of the marsh that should be out there, but after we clean up everything it should increase the shellfish and the baby shrimp population," said Socha.

Roughly 25 volunteers put on their boots and attempted to clean up as much as they could on Saturday. All of the bottles picked up will be recycled.

"It's so rewarding because you can immediately see what's happening after you pick up these bottles. It's instant. Plus, the gratification for the environment and for your city that you live and work in is priceless," said Amanda Mandy Bonnette, one of the volunteers.

Socha say they've picked up more than 3,500 bottles at that site, and he hopes this time they do it again.

The group's next clean up is being held May 16 on Drum Island. The group will boat to the island and pick up as much trash as they can haul off the island.

Wounded Nature recently cleaned up debris left by a sinking shrimp boat in Beaufort. See that story here.

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