Sunday, September 20, 2020

BAC Priority: Keep Our Beaches Clean

Code Enforcement on the beach is a top priority.

Code Enforcement on the beach is a top priority.

Submitted 

The mission of Marco Island’s Beach Advisory Committee is to keep the City Council informed of current conditions of Marco Island’s seven miles of Gulf Beaches; advise the City Council of environmental matters, recommend future services in order to maintain the high quality of the beach for residents, visitors and the valued natural resources. The seven-member board of citizen volunteers, appointed by members of the City Council, have a daunting task.

Who speaks for our beaches? How can we ensure that Marco Island’s crown jewel remain the number one attraction for visitors to our island. Worldwide, our beaches are referred to as “first class with miles of soft

BAC’s monthly beach clean-up.

BAC’s monthly beach clean-up.

sugary pristine sand,” and in economic terms, it is the Number One economic engine for the community.

The County, City, law enforcement, beachfront businesses, condominium community, local businesses and all the residents of Marco Island share in the responsibility of keeping our beaches clean.

Coming Together to Make it Happen: 

Local Businesses: Under the coordination of the Beach Advisory Committee (BAC) local businesses sponsor monthly beach clean-ups. Beachfront businesses, vacation rentals and the condominium community are active participants in addressing the issue of trash on the beach and in finding alternatives to using plastic straws.

Residents: The LOVE YOUR BEACH monthly clean ups have become a community event for the BAC.

Central Beach re nourishment project currently underway

Central Beach re nourishment project currently underway

More and more local residents and their families participate at the monthly beach cleanups.

Environmental groups such as Audubon of Florida and Rookery Bay are very active in an education outreach to teach the beach-going public about the protection and preservation of migratory shorebirds on our beaches.

Audubon has partnered with a JW Marriott and is in the process of adding the Marco Beach Ocean Resort, Hilton and Crystal Shores to the list of businesses promoting this environmental message to their staff and guests. The BAC, in partnership with the Collier County Shorebird Stewardship program and Audubon of Florida, are active participants in an ongoing education outreach on the

Trash has no place on Marco Island’s pristine beach. Photo by Jesse Rodriguez

Trash has no place on Marco Island’s pristine beach. Photo by Jesse Rodriguez

protection of migratory birds on our beaches. Most of the members of the committee are trained as shorebird stewards.

Partnership with County and City: Citizens usually look to their government to enforce existing beach ordinances, ensure a clean and safe beach and take the lead in environmental issues. The County is currently in a re-nourishment project for Hideaway and Marco’s Central Beach. Code Enforcement on the beach is a top priority for the City Council and MIPD.

Volunteer Beach Stewardship Program: The BAC successfully re-launched the Beach Stewardship Program 2016, which is a group of friendly volunteers, who received their training on the beach from ordinance from MIPD and

Beach Stewardship Program training session with BAC member Tony Ferrara. Submitted Photos

Beach Stewardship Program training session with BAC member Tony Ferrara. Submitted Photos

beach etiquette from BAC member, Tony Ferrara. The volunteers will be highly visible on our beaches with their orange shirts, walking, talking, educating and monitoring the beach going public, serving as extra eyes and ears and providing much needed feedback to the BAC and to MIPD.

It is important to keep our beaches clean for its aesthetic and economic value and by doing so, we are also protecting its unique ecosystem and the diversity of its wildlife.

Our beach is a very precious resource that deserves our full commitment.

If you are interested in becoming a volunteer Beach Steward; if you would like to sponsor a Beach Clean-up, please call city staff, Samantha Malloy at: 239-389-3917 or email: smalloy@cityofmarcoisland.com.

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