What better way to celebrate the weather than to get out in the sunshine, let the breeze blow through your hair and give back to the earth?
Local chapters of Keep America Beautiful are observing the International Coastal Cleanup on Saturday. The annual cleanup, coordinated by Ocean Conservancy, challenges local communities, cities, states and countries to rid their lands of garbage. The cleanups are always a great and rewarding time and are facilitated by local nonprofit organizations such as Defenders of Wildlife and the Keep America Beautiful chapters.
When I was working for Ocean Conservancy's Florida chapter, we conducted monthly cleanups. Over the six-month grant period, we collected more than 20,000 pounds of debris at six site locations. Many of us returned every month, each time with a new dedication to protecting our oceans. We essentially became a family of concerned citizens who paused in awe of Florida’s beauty, gasped and pointed when dolphins swam by and adamantly saved sea birds when they became entangled. It felt good to give back to an ocean without a governor, and it was rewarding to be acknowledged for our efforts. All in all, it was my definition of what a community could be, so I welcome all of you to join in, support one another and give back to the environment. For inspiration, check out this video(yours truly is in it, as well).
Ready to Join a Cleanup?
Cleanups are conducted around fragile habitats such as estuaries, rivers, streams, lakes and oceans, and organizers keep track of the amount and types of garbage found to report to political decision makers. Locations throughout the Tampa Bay area are participating.
For sign-up information, contact the Pinellas chapter of Keep America Beautiful.
What Makes a Successful Cleanup?
In preparation for the cleanup, verify the time and meeting location. Here are some other tips for the day of the event:
- Wear closed-toe shoes and a hat
- Take sunscreen, bug spray and a refillable water bottle
- Eat some carbs in the morning
- Take a positive spirit, and have fun
Contact the organization or individual conducting the cleanup with any questions.
Thank you all for considering participation in this event. Our oceans and the creatures that use them need your efforts to rid their homes of debris. Mother earth and all of us good stewards thank you, as well. After all, we all live downstream, so let’s look out for one another!