SANTA ROSA BEACH — Forty-three volunteers from Okaloosa and Walton counties and people from the park's campground gathered at Topsail Hill Preserve State Park recently for a beach cleanup.

Within two hours the volunteers removed 15 pounds of debris from the beach to prevent it from reaching the Gulf of Mexico just in time for sea turtle and shorebird nesting seasons.

The cleanup is one of two events the park sponsors to celebrate Earth Day. The second one is the Earth Day Festival from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday.

The next beach cleanup at the park will be from 9:15-11:30 a.m. Sept. 15 as part of International Coastal Cleanup Day.

To learn more about the park, call the Ranger Station at 850-267-8330 or visit