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Volunteers gather for cleanup at Rutherford Beach

Updated: Mar. 6, 2021 at 7:24 PM CST
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LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - Pieces of homes and debris can still be found washed up on the shores of Rutherford Beach, even months after Hurricanes Laura and Delta.

Today a group of 70 volunteers, organized by Audubon Louisiana, cleaned up around 6 miles of Rutherford Beach Saturday morning.

“We’ve gotten an opportunity through Restore America’s Estuaries Caring for our Coast’s program to support a larger effort,” Katie Barnes, Coastal Stewardship Manager for the organization said. “We’re able to come out here to help with hurricane recovery and also to clean up the beach to get it ready for the breeding season. And allow the birds to have an opportunity for nesting in a clean dune system.”

Normally, Audubon Louisiana hosts cleanup efforts year-round, though Barnes says it’s not usually this large.

“This is an opportunity to do a larger scale to help the community bounce back from the hurricanes, and so this is an opportunity for us to not only educate about keeping the beaches clean, but also to help the community to bounce back from a really hard hurricane season.”

Volunteers from all over the state, including officials from Cameron Parish, started cleaning the beach as early as 7 a.m. today.

“It just was a really good opportunity to give back and help clean up the beach and whatnot,” says Brittany Zaunbrecher, volunteer, and Cameron Parish 4H extension agent.

They came across all kinds of debris, including those from homes that were destroyed as a result of the hurricane.

“I found something,” Zaunbrecher says. “I don’t even know what it was. It seemed like it was maybe like a gate or something, I don’t know. It had like a t-shirt that tied around it and just kinda dragged it out. I tried to pick up a tire. I felt like I was doing CrossFit.”

Audubon Louisiana hopes to hosts more cleanups at Rutherford Beach in the future.

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