Lee County Participates In World’s Largest Beach Cleanup

Keep Lee County Beautiful Volunteers Joined the Worldwide Effort during Ocean Conservancy’s 35th International Coastal Cleanup

[Fort Myers, FL] (September 23, 2020) – Keep Lee County Beautiful is the local organizer of Ocean Conservancy’s International Coastal Cleanup (ICC).  Taking place over the course of 35 years, this cleanup has removed nearly 315 million pounds of trash from beaches and waterways worldwide. It remains the largest, global volunteer effort to remove trash from our local shorelines. 

The Lee County 2020 ICC took place on a much smaller scale due to gathering restrictions amid concerns over coronavirus.   Only select cleanup locations participated with a limited number of volunteers practicing social distancing and wearing face coverings.  A number of independent cleanups also took place across the county.  Even as the volunteers practiced social distancing, there was still plenty to be done to protect our ocean from plastic pollution.

Ocean plastic pollution is on the rise making the cleanup especially important this year.  From increased food delivery waste to medical equipment like gloves and masks, the pandemic is aggravating the problem.  Any gloves or mask that find their way into our waters can easily be mistaken for jellyfish, a favorite food of sea turtles. The elastic components of masks have increased risks of entanglement for a wide variety of fish, animals and birds.  Scientists predict global ocean plastic pollution to double by the year 2030.

Hundreds of Keep Lee County Beautiful volunteers made a difference and positive impact on the health of our coast and ocean.  In addition to cleaning thousands of pounds of trash from our beaches and waterways, they contributed to the world’s largest database on marine debris by logging each item to help inform policy and determine solutions to the growing pollution crisis.  Keep Lee County Beautiful will be able to see what was uploaded for Lee County and add it to the amounts gathered at our coordinated sites so that we will have a comprehensive set of data to track our local trash trends.

Volunteering for a cleanup is the most immediate and impactful solution to keep plastics out of the ocean.  Keep Lee County Beautiful is so grateful for the hard work of the amazing volunteers in helping us achieve our shared vision for a cleaner, healthier ocean.

Thank you to the volunteers and to the following Coastal Cleanup sponsors:  Manheim Fort Myers, Surfing Evolution & Preservation Foundation, Lee County Solid Waste, Kayak Excursions, Abby Services, Family Thrift Center, Waste Pro, Advanced Disposal, First Service Residential, Aboe Board Chamber of Florida, Americor, Lee County Parks & Recreation, Coca-Cola, Ocean Conservancy, Florida Park Service, The Town of Fort Myers Beach, City of Bonita Springs, Keep America Beautiful, City of Fort Myers, Keep Florida Beautiful, Safeguard Destruction Services, Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation, Flanagan Law Firm P.A., MK Architecture, Suncoast Beverage, Fort Myers Beach Community Foundation, Lovers Key State Park, U.S. Anesthesia Partners.

ABOUT KEEP LEE COUNTY BEAUTIFUL, INC.

Keep Lee County Beautiful, Inc., established in 1989, is the county’s largest volunteer-based community action and education organization. This local nonprofit forms public-private partnerships and programs that engage individuals to take greater responsibility for improving their community environments.

For more information, call 239-334-3488 or visit www.klcb.org

Follow us on Facebook @KLCBInc or Instagram keepleecountybeautifulfl

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