The following is a release from the Alabama Coastal Foundation with details on Alabama’s 29th Coastal Cleanup today.
Alabama Coastal Cleanup aims to get our shores clean
Pick up the papers and the trash! On Sept. 17, coastal residents and visitors are invited to take part in the Alabama Coastal Cleanup, part of a worldwide effort to make our shores a safer, cleaner place.
Volunteers will gather from 8 a.m. to noon at 18 cleanup points in Baldwin County to take the trash out of the splash.
“Maintaining a clean community increases the quality of life for city residents while also protecting coastal ecosystems. Their participation is not only a way to give back to their community, but also teaches them why it is critical to keep our coastal areas trash free,” said Sherry Sullivan, one of the zone captains for the Fairhope area.
Sullivan, who has worked with Alabama Coastal Cleanup for more than 10 years, said in Fairhope only, the Fairhope Public Utilities electric department provides a public power display while the city gas department cooks hotdogs for the volunteers there.
Both Sullivan and Nicole Woerner, zone captain for Boggy Point, said cigarette butts are one of the most common items found during the Coastal Cleanup. Cigarette butts also claimed the No. 1 spot worldwide with more than 2.1 million collected during the 2015 International Coastal Cleanup. http://www.oceanconservancy.org/our-work/international-coastal-cleanup/2016-ocean-trash-index.html Plastic bags, bottles and caps are also common items found along the shores.
“Our islands are heavily utilized by boaters during the summer season,” Woerner said. “Sadly, some of those folks toss their cigarettes into the water and they end up washing onto the island.” Woerner has worked with Alabama Coastal Cleanup since 2007 and expects less trash on the beaches for this year’s Coastal Cleanup because of the new Leave Only Footprints initiative adopted by both Gulf Shores and Orange Beach in 2015.
“I know the Leave Only Footprints initiative has been a major success this summer and I am confident that the amount of debris collected on the islands and beaches of Orange Beach will be significantly less than previous years,” Woerner said. Orange Beach also includes several additional zones such as Cotton Bayou Public Beach and the Flora-Bama Lounge where volunteers can gather to participate. Gulf Shores offers several zones as well, including Gulf State Park, Gulf Shores public beach; in Fort Morgan, join efforts at the Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge or at Fire Station # 1.
You may register ahead of time or just show up at 8 a.m. at any of the cleanup zones in Baldwin County. You will be supplied with bags, water bottles and record sheets. After the cleanup, you will receive T-shirts, decals and other freebies.
Tips for those who want to volunteer include:
- Drink plenty of fluids!
- Bring sunscreen, and wear a hat and comfortable shoes.
- Supervise children at all times.
- Be careful near sand dunes and other fragile ecosystems.
- Do not attempt to remove dangerous or heavy items yourself. Mark the location and report back to the zone captain for proper disposal.
For more information regarding zones in Mobile and Baldwin counties, please visit the website or call 251-929-9792. You can also contact zone captains directly, listed on the website: http://www.alabamacoastalcleanup.com/clean-up.html