By Nancy Richie
City of Marco Island Environmental Specialist
When the Goodland Civic Association members volunteer, they come in a large, boisterous group; ready to go and ready for fun! For their generous volunteer efforts, they did not just include their own fishing village but the community at large.
On Saturday, Feb. 8, a couple dozen Goodland Civic Association members ventured a few minutes down the road and volunteered to clean up Marco Island’s beach. Led by Association President Greg Bello, they arrived a little after 8 AM at the South Beach access. Rina Lazo from Marco Island Civic Association was there with the beach “gator” ready to assist. Ralph Barnhart, member of the city of Marco Island’s Beach Advisory Committee, was there with Publix supplies of water, bags and gloves. Others ready to help were Katie O’Hare from the Marco Island Chamber of Commerce, seasonal residents John and Nancy Keck, Maddie Richie with friends Michael and Megan Joyce, and a handful of beach walkers who wanted to pitch in. It was actually an “international” clean up — maybe not the scale of the Sochi Olympics — but we did have a couple Irish nationals joining in too.
Walking the beach, the volunteers collected more than a dozen bags of trash — mostly food wrappers, plastic cups and straws, cigarette butts and plastic pieces from toys, chairs, umbrellas, fishing equipment, zip ties, etc. Around the jetty area, dozens of aluminum cans and fishing line were removed. One volunteer overheard a beach-goer complain to his companion that the beach does not need cleaning up. He was quick to correct himself when he saw all the plastic and cigarette butts removed from the sand. The most interesting item found was by Megan Joyce: a black eye patch, proving, yes, there are pirates on the beach! Whatever the amount of trash collected, removing any trash from our beautiful beach helps the wildlife and our quality of life on Marco Island. Thank you, volunteers!
If you are interested in keeping our beach clean and some fun in the sun, please join the next beach clean-up scheduled for Saturday, March 15, at 8 AM, at the South Beach boardwalk access. Local lawn and landscape contractor, Greenscapes Inc., will be sponsoring this clean-up. All public is welcome.
Need more information on the city of Marco Island Beach Advisory Committee organized beach clean-ups? Please contact Nancy Richie, environmental specialist, city of Marco Island, at 239-389-5003 or firstname.lastname@example.org.