Ocean Conservancy Coastal Cleanup
The Ocean Conservancy's International Coastal Cleanup was a big success! A total of 54 people showed up at Picnic Island to lend a hand, and they were treated to fresh coffee and donuts from Dunkin' Donuts to start their day. The event organizer, Tamra Pierce from OSG, started things off by welcoming everyone and passing out the event shirts, hats,sunblock/first aid kits and reusable bags to everyone. Tamra had everything organized very well, providing gloves, trash grabbers, trash bags, and ice cold water for the large crowd of volunteers and their families.
She then began discussing our game plan with the group, and laid out a few contests for the volunteers, which included categories like: most cigarette butts collected, most recyclables, most unique, and total trash collected. The teams hit the beach and began collecting everything they could find.
The collected trash is recorded and submitted to Ocean Conservancy for tallying. Cleanups like this were going on everywhere in the world, and tons of trash is collected every year at these events. Many bags of trash were collected by the volunteers, and several thousand cigarette butts. The youth volunteers were definitely the most energetic, and were all rewarded with prizes for their efforts. Thank you to each and every family for educating their children about pollution, respecting the environment, and showing them firsthand, how they can make a difference.
All volunteers were issued wristbands and offered free admission to The Florida Aquarium, and 50% discounts until the end of the year. Chick-Fil-A also chipped in coupons for free food items to reward the hungry volunteers.
Other event sponsors included: Keep Hillsborough Beautiful, Hillsborough County, Florida, Wheelabrator McKay Bay, Inc., Cargill, The Tampa Tribune, The FGS Group, News Channel 8, Evos, The Florida Aquarium, Chick-Fil-A, Vulcan Materials Company, Biological Research Associates, Tampa Bay Parrot Head Club, Tampa Bay Regional Planning Council, Tampa-Hillsborough County Expressway Authority, TECO Energy, USAA
A special thanks to Suncoast Surfrider Foundation, and all the families who participated in making this cleanup a big success! Another thanks to local kiteboarder, Joe Mageed, for helping make this event happen. (Get well soon, Joe!) We look forward to seeing you soon! Our next beach cleanup is with our friends of Suncoast Surfrider Foundation, on Sunday October 5th at 5:00 PM. Look for the Kite-4-Life and Surfrider tents at the Treasure Island beach access. Please contact Steve Sadler at (813) 389-3683 for more information.