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Keeping It Clean – It’s Team Work!
Greenscapes Inc. ready to clean the beach. SUBMITTED PHOTOS

Keeping It Clean – It’s Team Work!

Submitted

Katie O’Hare of the Marco Island Chamber of Commerce hands out trash grabbers to the volunteers.

Katie O’Hare of the Marco Island Chamber of Commerce hands out trash grabbers to the volunteers.

The City of Marco Island’s Beach Advisory Committee’s monthly beach clean-up could not have happened on a better Saturday of the year. Mid-March — the island is very populated and everyone is at the beach — unfortunately more people equates to more trash on the beach.

Gathering early on March 15, members of the Beach Advisory Committee, Greenscapes Inc., Marco Island Area Chamber of Commerce, Marco Island Civic Association and the Board of Realtors’ Young Professionals all cleaned the beach. Working together and armed with gloves and bags provided by Publix, this group removed close to 30 bags of debris from the beach and in the dune areas. The trash consisted of lots of plastic wrappers, bottles, plastic straws and cups, broken plastic toys, a frame to a sky lantern and one very large pipe.

Greenscapes Inc., a local professional lawn and landscape contractor sponsoring this clean-up, showed up in force with more than a dozen employees and family members ready for a day on the beach. Their enthusiasm spread to other beach goers who joined in when they saw the crowd. Marco Island Civic Association was on hand with their beach cart to pick up the full bags of trash for disposal and to offer Publix water and free rides to the beach clean-up crew.

Debbie Roddy finds remnants of a sky lantern in the tidal zone. Sky lanterns are illegal to release on the beach. They are a fire and wildlife hazard.

Debbie Roddy finds remnants of a sky lantern in the tidal zone. Sky lanterns are illegal to release on the beach. They are a fire and wildlife hazard.

To kick off the clean-up, Katherine O’Hare of the Marco Island Area Chamber of Commerce and a Leadership Marco Class of 2001 Alumnus presented the beach clean-up group with special tools to help the clean-up go a little easier. Over the past months, Leadership Marco Alumni have been working on a special project to donate thirty “Nifty Nabber” Pick-Up Tools, nine two-gallon buckets and three five-gallon buckets to be used for beach clean-ups or by any organizations in coordination with litter clean-ups on Marco Island and in the surrounding areas. A regular volunteer at the monthly beach clean-ups, O’Hara purchased a “Nifty Nabber” for her own use in 2012.

Each “nabber” and bucket is labeled with the name or business of the Leadership Marco Alumni donor. These tools are intended to encourage additional volunteer participation from the public by providing for use by those who would not otherwise volunteer due to physical limitations. These tools will be available for use at each organized beach clean-up. They are also available for reserving for “Adopt-a-Road” clean-ups by calling O’Hara at 239-394-7549 or via email at katie@marcoislandchamber.org.

City of Marco Island Beach Advisory Committee members Ralph Barnhart, George Schmidt, Tony Ferrara and Debbie Roddy coordinated this monthly clean-up and participated with all the volunteers. The committee would like to remind all beach goers to dispose of trash properly, and when leaving the beach, leave only your footprints. Please take all your beach items and trash along; don’t leave it on the beach.

The Board of Realtors’ Young Professionals gather for the beach clean-up.

The Board of Realtors’ Young Professionals gather for the beach clean-up.

If you, your business or group is interested in sponsoring or participating in a beach clean-up, please contact Nancy Richie, Environmental Specialist, City of Marco Island, at 239-389-5003 or nrichie@cityofmarcoisland.com. All public is welcome, and student volunteer hours can be earned.

The next scheduled city of Marco Island beach clean-up is Sunday, May 18, at 8 AM, at the South Beach boardwalk access. Publix Supermarket is the business sponsor. Come out and join us, and let’s keep our beach clean!

 


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