May 9th was the first beach clean-up at South Beach since Collier County closed its beaches on March 19. Thanks to the sponsorship of the Marco Island Area Association of Realtors, their volunteers were ready to clean the beach. Many residents with their families and friends also showed up and were very happy to be on the beach. March 7th was the last beach clean-up they participated in.
Gloves were provided, social distancing was a requirement, buckets and grabbers were provided by Leadership Marco and the Chamber of Commerce and free t-shirts were given out to first time participants.
It has only been 8 days since the beach reopened on April 30th, but already it needed a clean-up. Large pieces of wood and metal were found on the dunes along with plastic water bottles, beer cans, liquor bottles and footwear. At the vegetation’s edge, smaller pieces of plastic and cigarette butts were trapped by the tall grass.
The Beach and Coastal Resources Advisory Committee (BACR) is the organizer for the monthly beach clean-ups soliciting monthly business sponsors. BACR recognizes that the key to Marco’s economic success is maintaining the health of its pristine beaches and the preservation of its unique wildlife.
Through its “Love Your Beach” monthly beach clean-ups, sponsors, such as the Marco Island Area Association of Realtors brought additional volunteers. Today, some 30+ volunteers have enjoyed the wide-open space and beach air while picking up trash left by others. The monthly clean-ups have become a popular community beach event.
Since the beginning of 2020, BACR has partnered with Marco Island Academy Key Club, Ace Painting, Cub Scouts Pack 234 and American Boating Club. Each new volunteer receives a neon green Love Your Beach T-shirt as a token of BACR’s appreciation.
According to Ruth McCann, Executive Director of MICA and a volunteer, at first glance, the beach looks so pristine but upon closer look, it was shocking to see how much trash was left behind. To think that the beach just reopened on April 30th.
With the closing of beaches in the Miami/Dade area, Marco’s beaches are seeing an increase in beach traffic reflected in the number of beachgoers with large coolers entering the South Beach Entrance.
A Collier County Parks & Recreation staff was stationed at the entrance to South Beach reminding visitors on sanitation guidelines and social distancing protocol. He was also taking a count on visitors entering the beach from this location.
Please Save the Dates
June 6, 2020, at 8 AM: sponsored by Marco Island Chamber of Commerce
July 11, 2020, at 8 AM: sponsored by Friends of Tigertail Beach at Tigertail Beach
August 16, 2020, at 9 AM at South Beach – CJ’s on the Beach