The Fourth of July brought a lot of debris to shorelines from people celebrating both on land and on the water. Tampa Bay Watch will be trying to put things right during its post-4th Coastal Cleanup on Saturday.
“We see it as an important way to clean up our local community after the holiday and to help protect the water, the Bay, and all the marine life,” said Rachel Arndt, the Communications Manager for the group. She said it is the 15th year they have been doing this.
Volunteers from all ages will gather from 9 a.m. to noon at the following sites:
- Tampa Bay Watch
- Bartlett Park
- Coffee Pot Bayou- Kayakers Only
- Coffee Pot Bayou- Land volunteers only
Arndt said that they do not need volunteers at the Tampa Bay Watch and Coffee Pot Bayou sites, but they still need people to come to the largest site at the South Skyway rest area.
People can register by clicking on one of the sites listed above.
“The site captains will talk about the importance of picking up marine debris to protect our environment and marine animals,” said Arndt. “And then we’ll talk about some safety issues, but we’re basically providing you pickers and trash bags and gloves and we’re heading out just to pick up any trash we see to get it out of the environment.”
Arndt advises volunteers to stay hydrated and to dress fittingly for the cleanup.
“Be prepared, the most trash is found within the mangroves so we encourage people to wear clothes and closed-toed shoes they don’t mind getting dirty,” said Arndt. “And also wear sunscreen and a hat and bug spray.”
The nonprofit organization is celebrating 25 years of working to preserve Tampa Bay’s estuaries.
“We see it as an important way to do something locally to protect our environment to address the international problem of marine debris,” said Arndt. “So we’re just trying to get any pollution, any debris out of the environment to protect marine life and to beautify our community.”