Saturday, October 24, 2020

Isles of Capri coastal clean up

Jeremiah Eliason and his wife Stephanie collected truck load after truck load to haul to the dumpsters. Photo by Joan Kelly

Jeremiah Eliason and his wife Stephanie collected truck load after truck load to haul to the dumpsters. Photo by Joan Kelly

By Joan Kelly

The 25th annual Ocean Conservancy Coastal Clean up started with fifteen very clean Isles of Capri residents and ended up with fifteen very hot and dirty people! The group participated in the worldwide effort to remove trash from the world’s waterways, mainly road debris blown into the water and marine discards.

“You’ll never guess what we found in the water,” shouted one volunteer to another as the volunteers from Isles of Capri pulled junk, palms, glass, and debris from the Isles of Capri island coast.

“What did you find?” was the reply, as the energetic and dirty crew worked their way around the islands.

“Two fire extinguishers.”

“You’re kidding. Let me see them.”

By noon, the volunteers had filled two huge dumpsters. One was a horticultural dumpster; the other full of bags of trash and discarded

Carl Kelly, who leads eco tours at Port of the Isles, on this day was ankle deep in muck pulling out one of many liquor bottles. Photo by Joan Kelly

Carl Kelly, who leads eco tours at Port of the Isles, on this day was ankle deep in muck pulling out one of many liquor bottles. Photo by Joan Kelly

items. Angela Reynoso of Island Market invited all the workers to her market for lunch as a ‘thank you’ for all of the hard work.

What did we find? More than we wanted. Notable items were furniture, two fire extinguishers, an entire rug, fishing lures, plastic bags, glass and plastic bottles, cans, and clothing.

Not found in great numbers were cigarettes.

All groups keep a diary along the way with everything recorded, from water bottles and glass alcoholic beverage containers, to rope, nets, shoes and shelving units.

In 2009, sixty percent of the debris collected and cataloged worldwide consisted of single-use, disposable items. Volunteers picked up 1.1 million plastic bags. And enough cups, plates, knives, forks, and spoons for a picnic for 100,000 people.

On Isles of Capri, fifteen people with Eddie and Ann Hall as captains, cleaned

Captains Eddie and Ann Hall toured the Island to be sure everyone had trash bags and water before cleaning up one section of the Isles themselves. Jeri Neuhaus of Christopher Reality loaned the golf cart. Photo by Joan Kelly

Captains Eddie and Ann Hall toured the Island to be sure everyone had trash bags and water before cleaning up one section of the Isles themselves. Jeri Neuhaus of Christopher Reality loaned the golf cart. Photo by Joan Kelly

from Route 951 to Pelican Street–the entire length of Isle of Capri on Capri Boulevard. The crew of hard workers included: Maria and John Mc Nicholas, Randy Whitson, Vi Avedisian, Jeremiah and Stephanie Eliason, Tim Newman, Thomas Larson, Tim Nelson, Shawn and Whitney Blair and Carl Kelly.

County-wide, sponsors of the event were Rookery Bay, with Donna Young as volunteer co-coordinator, and Cher Compton of Keep Collier Beautiful, who supplied the trash bags, water, and t-shirts and the dumpsters (donated by Waste Management), along with many other organizations.

This Ocean Conservancy yearly event aims to empower individuals to take greater responsibility for the enhancement of their environment. Speaking to the workers I found that they already take responsibility for the earth and do clean up in and around the area on a regular basis, not just once a year.

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