The volunteer Beach Steward program, which began in 2012 under the guidance of Environmental Specialist Nancy Richie, has received quite an acknowledgment from the Florida Chapter of the American Planning Association. The objective of the Association, according to its website, “is to encourage planning that will contribute to public well-being by developing communities and environments that meet the needs of people and of society more effectively.”
Keeping in mind physical, economic and social planning activities, the APA gives out awards every year based on these ideals. The 2013 APA Florida Project Awards granted Marco’s Beach Stewards an Award of Merit in the category of Grassroots Initiative for the program. Awards were given at the APA Conference in Orlando, held between September 10 – 13. Marco’s Stewards were represented in the program at the event. Continue reading for a glimpse at the APA of Florida’s views regarding our Beach Stewards, the program and what they do for the community.
Volunteer Beach Stewardship Program
CATEGORY: Grassroots Initiative
The City of Marco Island Volunteer Beach Stewardship Program, which commenced its mission in May 2012, strives to educate and inform the beach going public of proper beach etiquette and stewardship of its 6-miles of white sand coastline. Like many other Florida communities, the City recognized that its citizens and visitors needed to understand the importance of these resources but, given budgetary constraints, needed to rely on volunteers to help with this education. The program was comprehensive and took a friendly, educational tactic instead of a regulatory one. Beyond just being prepared with information regarding stewardship of the natural resources, the Beach Stewardship volunteers are also trained as local economic ambassadors, prepared to provide information about local sites, events, and directions.