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Friday, April 12, 2013 - 12:00pm

Tybee Island Braces For Orange Crush

Tybee Island police are ramping up security this weekend for an annual beach party attended mainly by African American college students.

The increased policing comes a year after a viral video showed footage of a trashed beach.

Orange Crush is an informally arranged spring break not organized by any school or person.

It comes together on social media and is named for one of the school colors of majority-black Savannah State University.

Last year, Tybee Island resident Tony Abruzzio used YouTube to show the world how Orange Crush participants, many from SSU, left trash all over the beach.

This year, he says it would be awesome if he went out with his camera and had nothing to show.

"There definitely were some folks, particularly some folks from Savannah State, who kind of stepped up to the table and said, 'Hey, you know this is wrong. And we need to fix this,'" says Abruzzio. "I'd love to go out on my walk on Sunday morning and the beach be pristine clean."

Many SSU students say the attention unfairly singled out African Americans and Savannah State.

Biology student Krystal George says the littering was wrong but so was the media coverage.

"They did try to put most of the blame on one school which was Savannah State and that's not the case at all," says George.

Biology student Brianna Williams says she doesn't excuse the litter but questions the attention.

"If there's no problem with St. Patrick's Day every year then there shouldn't be a problem with Orange Crush," says Williams. "It's a different group of people but it's the same thing."

Police are planning road checks, surveillance and other measures this weekend.

City officials have scheduled trash crews to be out late on Saturday afternoon.