DESTIN, Fla. (WKRG) — Volunteers by the masses are needed for the 35th International Coastal Cleanup day on September 17. Groups in Okaloosa County have chosen 6 beaches around Fort Walton Beach and Destin to tackle for trash.
Beach Cleanup locations:
- The Boardwalk on Okaloosa Island (1450 Miracle Strip Pkwy, Fort Walton Beach, FL)
- The Crab Trap/James Lee Park (3500 Scenic HWY 98, Destin, FL)
- The Surf Hut (551 Scenic Gulf Dr, Miramar Beach, FL)
- Norriego Point (1 Gulf Shore Dr, Destin, FL)
- Mattie Kelly Park & Joe’s Bayou (825 Beach Dr, Destin, FL)
- Henderson Beach State Park (17000 Emerald Coast Pkwy, Destin, FL)
“When we come together as a community, we help keep our beaches pristine and allow for native wildlife to thrive,” said Okaloosa Board of County Commissioners Chairman Mel Ponder. “We are fortunate to have a Coastal Resource division in our Tourist Development Department dedicated to this cause.”
Okaloosa County coastal crews have preached about the detrimental impact plants and trash have on the local white sand beaches. In the last cleanup event, volunteers removed 2,000 pounds of trash and more than 1,000 cigarette butts.
“Beach cleanups not only keep our beaches beautiful for visitors, but they create a safe environment for our wildlife. Certain animals, like sea turtles and shorebirds, rely on our beaches to lay their eggs and protect their young. The International Coastal Cleanup is a great way to bring the community together and do good for the environment,” said Jessica Valek, Coastal Resource Coordinator, Destin-Fort Walton Beach Tourism.
Free t-shirts will be given to the early birds at the events on September 17 running from 8-10 am. Breakfast will be provided to volunteers for free after at the following locations:
- The Boardwalk
- The Crab Trap
- The Surf Hut
Those wanting to participate must register online and bring their own gloves, mesh bags, buckets, and other items to collect trash.
International Coastal Cleanup Day:
Ocean Conservancy hosts the clean-up day each year to remove plastic and trash from beaches and waterways.
“Thanks to volunteers around the world, the ICC has become a beacon of hope, leading and inspiring action in support of our ocean. Since its beginning, more than 17 million volunteers have collected more than 348 million pounds of trash.”Ocean Conservancy International Coastal Cleanup