VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — People were not happy to find pink confetti covering a portion of the Pleasure House Point Nature Area this past weekend.

“There was just pink confetti all over the place,” said Karin Shultz, a nearby resident. “It was horrible. It was all bunched into all of the grasses, getting into the water. Just clearly a detriment to the animals around here. So, it was upsetting, to say the least.”

Shultz and her husband frequently visit the area to walk their dog. After seeing the mess someone left behind, she had to do something.

“I came out here with my little kitchen broom and I kind of just swept as much as I could, trying to clean it up. And then brought little bags over to the trash cans. I came out two nights to do that.”

She wasn’t the only one alarmed by the sight.

Another group organized an emergency clean-up session. Volunteers met on Sunday to pick up as much as they could.

But there’s no way to know how many pieces were picked up by volunteers and how many floated into the surrounding environment.

“It’s so tiny that it’s going to immediately diffuse into the environment. And plastics last, depending on the plastic, hundreds or thousands of years. That’s why we say it’s effectively permanent,” explained Tanner Council with the Chesapeake Bay Foundation.

The kind of confetti left behind was the type from a confetti bomb, like the ones currently popular for gender reveals.

But we don’t know who came out to the nature area to celebrate — or why.

“I think there are unlimited ways that you can celebrate a gender reveal or a marriage or a new baby, and there are lots of ways that you can do it that would have little to zero impact on the environment,” said Council.

“It’s a learning experience for everyone and I don’t think anyone does these things on purpose. I think they were probably just trying to have a wonderful celebratory moment,” said Shultz. “But in the future, there are other environmentally-friendly ways to have a gender reveal or whatever they were celebrating.”

Council wants to remind people protecting these types of places in incredibly important.

“It really is one of the last wild spaces here in the city.”

Pleasure House Point said more than $500 has been pledged to help find those responsible for the debris.

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