The forecast for Saturday, February 1st, was rain, rain, and more rain. However, that did not deter the Cub Scout Pack and Boy Scout Troop 234 and Ace Painting from cleaning the beach on February 1st. They were joined by a group of hardy residents and island visitors. With grabbers and buckets, they scoured the beach looking for plastic (bottles, cups, lids, food containers, etc.), candy wrappers and cigarette butts. They filled their buckets with soda cans and beer bottles, several pairs of flip flops and a washed-up wooden plank. Monthly beach clean-ups are coordinated by Marco’s Beach and Coastal Resources Advisory Committee.
According to the EPA’s National Marine Debris Monitoring Program, 49% of debris on beaches is from land-based sources. Land-based activities are those that include individuals who leave their trash on the beach. Some trash comes from the ocean moved by wind, wave and currents and find themselves deposited close to shore. At one beach clean-up, there were piles of cigarette butts and bottle caps washed ashore.
Why should we care? It has been well documented that plastic debris threatens marine animals through entanglement and ingestion. Sea turtles and birds often get tangled in single-use plastic bags or filament fishing lines and hooks.
According to Megan Olsen, Boy Scout Troop 234 Assistant Scoutmaster, community service is a key focus of the scouts who participate in several projects each year. The scouts spread mulch on the playground of their charter organization, Wesley United Methodist Church, organize an annual “Leave No Trace” trash pick-up and participate in several community events for Marco Island veterans. Recently, two Boy Scouts attended Winter Camp at Camp Miles in Punta Gorda, earning merit badges in engineering, cooking, geocaching, family life, leatherwork and basketry. This fall, the Cub Scouts also participated in a bike safety program with the Marco Island Police Department.
Thanks to co-sponsors, Sean and Nathaniel O’Donnell of Ace Painting for bringing members of their families and friends to clean the beach. Nathaniel O’Donnell is also a member of the Beach and Coastal Resources Advisory Committee. The O’Donnell family owns Ace Painting, an interior and exterior residential and commercial painting services. They have over 20 years of combined experience with attention to detail and impressive work ethics.
Both Sean and Nathaniel believe in conservation and often rescue wood from Marco Island and its surrounding areas and reclaim and transform them into beautifully sculptured pieces.
March Beach Clean-Up: March 7, 2020, at 8 AM – South Beach. Sponsored by America’s Boating Club – All are welcome!
7 Ways You Can Love Your Beach
- Put trash in trash cans or take them home.
- Don’t feed, chase or “flush” the birds. Walk around flocks of birds.
- Before you leave, fill in holes and level the sand.
- No live shelling.
- Keep off the dunes.
- Leave your bike and dog at home.
- Join us for a beach clean-up.