Swimming prohibited at Sandy Point State Park as tons of debris washes on shore

- Several feet of tree limbs and other debris can be seen lapping up against the sand at Sandy Point Beach, where the water is usually filled with people cooling off in the summer heat.

But with the casualties of last week's rains starting to wash up on the shore, going for a dip at Sandy Point State Park can be a bit treacherous these days.

The sticks, branches, trash and other debris washing up on the shore are believed to have come from the headwaters of the Chesapeake Bay.

"It's a mess! At first, I was like oh come on how bad can it be? But now that we are on the beach I can see its really bad," says beachgoer Angela Delaware.

Dozens of park employees from different parts of the state have been brought in to help clean up.

Officials say they usually only see conditions this bad after a tropical storm or hurricane. For now, people are being advised to stay on the sand.

"The majority of it is driftwood, but we have also found some construction debris. Large boards with nails in it, entire trees, there's a live box for crabs. There was a chicken coop, that's gone now. We found large pieces of metal a propane tank, jagged chunks of metal -- so obviously we have to suspend swimming here. The beach is still open to the public and they are welcome to fish and enjoy the sand, walk on the jetties but we can't allow people in the water right now," says Patrick Bright with the Maryland Department of Natural Resources Park Service.

The conditions didn't disappoint two young beach-goers who were happy to play in the sand away from the debris.

"It's a little disappointing, but they are working really hard to clean it up so hopefully, it won't be too long before people are swimming again," says beachgoer Slater Knowles.

Maryland Department of Natural Resources says getting in the water at Sandy Point will be off limits until at least Thursday, but that will most likely be extended as more rain is expected which will likely cause more to wash up.

Maryland Department of Natural Resources says organizer are holding two large-scale clean-up days at Sandy Point State Park this week.

One is being held on Thursday, and another on Saturday, both starting at 9 a.m.

"Volunteers can arrive whenever it is convenient. The end time will be determined based on the weather and other variables. The park will provide gloves and drinking water. Volunteers will NOT have to pay the entry fee and should wear solid shoes and bring bug spray. No small children please, the debris is a tangled mess of unknown," says MDNR.

Anyone who wants to volunteer should fill out a form online prior to arriving.

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