The cleanup effort is looking to pick up debris such as discarded fishing lines, nets, plastics, and various other pieces of trash from our beaches. These items can pose a serious risk to local wildlife, who can choke or become entangled in them and starve to death.
This event is part of the Ocean Conservancy’s annual International Coastal Cleanup. Each September, the ICC coordinates these events all over the world. Over the course of 30 years, volunteers for these programs have cleaned up nearly 144 million pounds of garbage on over 300 thousand miles of coastline. Lee County has done its share in contributing to these numbers. Over the last 5 years, 11 thousand volunteers have picked up 90 thousand pounds of trash from our local shores.
These cleanup efforts are not only vital to maintaining the environmental health of our area, but are also a great aid to our economy. The impact on wildlife can affect our local seafood industries significantly, and ugly, debris filled beaches can drive away tourists, who bring in $2 billion a year to our local economy.
Anyone who wishes to volunteer their time on the 19th should visit www.klcb.org/registration.html.
By Trent Townsend