Walton County Battles Spring Break Crowds and Trash - WMBB News 13 - The Panhandle's News Leader

Walton County Battles Spring Break Crowds and Trash

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The Walton County Sheriff's Office is asking for your help in combating beach law breakers. The busy spring break season has challenged law enforcement as they maintain zero tolerance.

The Sheriff's office said they can't be everywhere at once. It's why they are looking to commission a task force.

With over 500 spring break arrests on the beach so far, the Sheriff's Office said this will give them additional eyes to reign in rowdy crowds.

Volunteers will be dressed in provided t-shirts and can donate any amount of time to patrol the beach areas.

They will report all beach related violations of county ordinances and state statutes using their cell phone, but will not be involved in arresting violators

The Sheriff's Office said volunteers will go through the same type of education as those who enter neighborhood watch programs.

They are nearing 30 volunteers so far and looking for more according to Investigator Wendy Ammons.

"There's a lot of different ways that it can help us. I think it's just bringing the community in and feeling like they have that sense of being a part of us. We're a part of them and we're all in this together to make our community a better place," said Ammons.

To learn how you can help, contact the Walton County Sheriff's Office at 638-6111

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With more students than ever on South Walton beaches for the spring break season, business owners, residents and law enforcement are combating increased litter in high traffic areas.

It's inspired a local grass roots campaign to keep the beaches beautiful. When local publicist Madra McDonald visited Miramar Beach weeks ago, she said she was shocked to see the sheer amount of trash surrounding student partying and she wanted to make a difference.

"We're just looking to do an out reach campaign that is very positive, that isn't anti spring break, but positive just to bring awareness to keeping our beaches beautiful, which is the whole reason people come here," said McDonald.

Next week, she said she will be launching a campaign, with the hope to inspire college students to throw away their trash while visiting the beaches.

She said there is no reason for students to be surrounded by litter and have residents worried about stepping on beer cans or bottles while sharing the sands.

However, McDonald stressed that this is not an anti-spring break campaign. She said it's unrealistic to send it away from South Walton.

McDonald hopes that by 2014 there can be an obvious difference in the way spring breakers clean up after themselves.

"If we can affect let's say 6 or 7 kids out of ten, then it's going to make a difference and we'll see it in terms of less litter, and maybe kids partying at a more reasonable level," said McDonald.

To help, contact McDonald at Madra@M-PublicRelations.com