On Saturday, June 8th, 2019 in honor of World Oceans Day, our Surfrider Foundation chapter in the Florida Keys hosted two beach cleanups, one at Harry Harris Park in Tavernier and one at Boca Chica Beach near Key West. Both were
Over 45 individuals joined us including locals, tourists, and groups such as the VAW-123 coming all the way from Norfolk. Together we picked up over 700 pounds of trash spread out across the beach, washed up sargassum, and mangroves. A majority of the trash consisted of rope which dangers marine life as they can get tangled in it, microplastics that many animals ingest, and plastic bottles, tops and cutlery.
We were thrilled to host two beach cleanups out of 27 held by numerous chapters of the Surfrider Foundation across the country. World Oceans Day is a day not just for raising awareness, but for taking action to better our ocean, reefs, and ecosystems that support marine life. The Florida Reef Tract off of the Florida Keys is the third largest barrier reef in the world and the only barrier reef in the United States. It is our mission to protect the ocean, the reef, and the coastline and with the help of our volunteers, today we were able to make a difference for our ocean!
We would like to thank our sponsors, Love Beauty and Planet, and Love Home and Planet who donated and contributed items for participants. Thank you also to the individuals who donated their time today and materials to our event including:
- Florida Keys Brewing Company who donated malt bags to collect materials in
- Gratitude Watersports and Cafe who provided paddleboards
- Local photographer, Michelle, for documenting the event
- Island Home Nursery for donating fabric gloves
- Taking A Dump for taking the trash to a transfer station
- Local artist Keith
Oulseywho was an integral part of sorting trash and has taken a portion of the materials for future art projects, therefore, decreasing the amount that will be sent to landfills and incinerators
Lastly, thank you to those who volunteered their time and energy cleaning up our beaches. Without all of your help and support, we would not have been able to make these events a huge success!