Fri., November 1, 2013 5:00am (EDT)

St. Simons Prepares For 'Frat Beach'
By Orlando Montoya
Updated: 6 months ago

SAVANNAH, Ga.  —  
College students take to the beach on St. Simons Island ahead of the Georgia-Florida football game in Jacksonville.  (photo Lea King-Badyna)
College students take to the beach on St. Simons Island ahead of the Georgia-Florida football game in Jacksonville. (photo Lea King-Badyna)
Saturday's Georgia-Florida football game in Jacksonville will boost many Southeast Georgia businesses, but it might also leave a foul sight on St. Simons Island after the pre-game party on Friday night.

It's called "Frat Beach", and it's become a rite of passage for many Georgia fans-the party lasts all day on Friday, but the trash lives on to Saturday morning.

"Frat Beach" isn't just an eyesore. Marine life also suffers when debris washes out with the tide.

Lea King-Badyna of the University of Georgia Sea Grant program says last year 91 volunteers collected about three tons of trash and recyclables.

"There's upward of 8,000 primarily college students," King-Badyna says. "And Glynn County does a magnificent job of preparing for this onslaught. But there's still a problem with folks not taking personal responsibility."

Volunteers are looking for helpers to pick up trash.

County trash crews will push the garbage above the high tide line when crowds disperse Friday night, and the volunteers arrive Saturday morning to help with the cleanup.

There's typically little beach activity on game day Saturday, so volunteers can clean up the mess with little interruption.

"Part of the problem with it during the day on Friday is that it's such a small part of the beach where the crowd is and they are so tightly packed it's not as if you can look into the crowd and see the garbage," King-Badyna says. "When they leave, that's when you see the large amount of trash."

Badyna says community members welcome the weekend's business but wish more partiers took responsibility for their trash.

Volunteers are seeking more helpers for the beach clean-up on Saturday morning.