By Nancy J. Richie
City of Marco Island
That Florida fabulous winter weather is finally here! It brought out a large crowd to clean the beach on Saturday, Jan. 11. The monthly city of Marco Island Beach Advisory Committee beach clean up could not have been scheduled on a more perfect morning.
City of Marco Island Beach Advisory Committee Member Ralph Barnhart manages the monthly beach clean ups, and was onsite at 8 AM at South Beach access with bottled water, gloves and bags donated by Publix for all volunteers. Shortly after 8 AM, fellow Beach Advisory Committee Member George Schmidt and former Beach Advisory Committee Member and current Marco Island Civic Association (MICA) Board Member Bernardo Bezos pulled up in the MICA beach vehicle to assist. Volunteers such as City Volunteer Beach Stewards Garry and Christina McLeske, Beach Advisory Committee Chairperson Debbie Roddy and husband Marty, Chamber of Commerce’s Katherine O’Hare, and seasonal residents John and Nancy Keck and retired Connecticut Parks and Recreation staff Bob Kennedy were all ready to help clean up the beach too.
At 8:30 AM, Al Bennaroche, owner of Affordable Landscaping Services Inc., and a cou-ple dozen of his employees and their families arrived in matching fluorescent yellow t-shirts ready to canvas the beach for trash. Armed with gloves and trash bags, they be-gan sweeping the beach in the dunes and along the shoreline. A cart full of trash — plastic wrappers, cigarette butts, plastic straws and utensils, bottle caps and glass pieces — was removed from the beach. Removing all trash big and small makes a dif-ference to our beach aesthetics and safety for beachgoers, wildlife and shorebirds.
The next beach clean-up is scheduled for this Saturday, Feb. 8, from 8-11 AM. This one will be sponsored by the Goodland Civic Association, and volunteers are asked to meet at the South Beach Boardwalk.
If you, your business or a group you belong to are interested in participating or sponsor-ing a beach clean-up, or if you have any beach questions or concerns, please contact Nancy Richie, environmental specialist at 239-389-5003 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Please get out and volunteer!