Clean up, clean up, everybody, everywhere with the annual International Coastal Cleanup, the world's largest, one-day volunteer effort to clean up the waterways, on Sept. 16.
"People usually snorkel and go along the mangroves to pick up trash," says Tiffany Peavy, park secretary and cleanup coordinator for John D. McArthur Beach State Park. "We, along with Gumbo Limbo Nature Center in Boca Raton, usually are the largest cleanups in the county."
John D. MacArthur Beach State Park gets help from as many as 800 volunteer trash collectors each year. "We have a continuous following and we pick up tons and tons of trash," Peavy says. "I primarily have kids in organized groups that do it for community service hours, but I also have families that come."
International Coastal Cleanup is done across the entire world for one day a year. Last year's cleanup gathered 477,471 pieces of trash in Florida. Collecting that much litter can make for hungry volunteers.
"We usually do a barbecue before noon, because with this many people volunteering, we run out of trash quick," Peavy says. "The park's always beautiful, but this helps it look better."
Most parks from Palm Beach County to Miami-Dade County are participating in the International Coastal Cleanup on Sept. 16, but times vary. Call your local park to sign up or visit www.coastalcleanup.org for more information.
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