Heroes in the Gulf: Keeping coastlines clean in Florida

South Skyway Cleanup_082110 029Post by Shannon Miller, coordinator for Defenders’ Florida program.

On Saturday, August 21st, over 35 members and staff from Defenders of Wildlife and Ocean Conservancy met at the South Skyway Fishing Pier in Palmetto, Florida for another successful “Coastline Cleanup.” In less than four hours, participants collected over 2,000 pounds of marine debris and trash! A cleanup effort at the same site three months ago collected a similar amount.

Beach cleanups make a big difference for our community and our wildlife. Each year, hundreds of animals such as birds, sea turtles, manatees and dolphins are injured, maimed or killed by marine debris in the Tampa Bay area alone. Removing the debris from beaches and coastal waters is the best way to eliminate this deadly threat, and also prevents the debris from becoming hazardous material should it come into contact with oil – requiring a much more complicated and dangerous cleanup process. South Skyway Cleanup_082110 004

We still do not know the extent of the harm that the millions of gallons of oil and toxic dispersants from the Deepwater Horizon oil disaster will have on our marine environment and wildlife. But by cleaning up the coastline now, we hope to give Gulf wildlife a fighting chance for survival. Thank you to all of our volunteers that came out on Saturday, we truly appreciate your help, without you this event would not be possible. We thank you and especially our wildlife thanks you!

Stay tuned for our next cleanup by checking the Event Calendar on the Defenders of Wildlife website and please make sure you are on our email list.

To find out how you can help protect wildlife in the Gulf no matter where you live, visit www.gulfoilspillrecovery.org.

3 Responses to “Heroes in the Gulf: Keeping coastlines clean in Florida”

  1. Maianna Fitzgerald

    Thank you for what you do. We too here in the middle of the continent, almost, try to do what we can by picking up roadside debris before it enters the waterways via ditches, streams, rivers and ultimately the ocean.
    But the solution lies not in the clean-up but in banning the use of one time plastic and demanding of ourselves and everyone else the responsible disposal of the debris we cause by our consumption of goods.

  2. Debbie Beracha

    Thank you for all of your hard work and efforts in cleaning up the Fl coastline. I live in Florida and I cannot thank you enough for caring enough to clean up the coastline !! You are appreciated. Thank you.

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