Saturday, September 26, 2020

Threat of Dorian Did Not Deter Beach Clean-up


SAVE THE DATES

September 21st at 8 AM
Tigertail Beach; Annual
International Coastal Clean-up.

October 12th at 8 AM
Residents Beach; Beach Clean-up sponsored by MICA.

The Beach and Coastal Resources Advisory Committee held its first evening cleanup on Tuesday, September 3rd – with a surprisingly large turnout of residents and their families. A large contingency of JW employees and their families were bused to South Beach to join in the fun. Marcus Borman, JW Marriott’s Resident Manager, invited volunteers for refreshments at Quinn’s.

As of 5 AM on Tuesday, Dorian was a Category 3 storm battering Grand Bahama Island, according to the National Hurricane Center. It was “planted” stationary over Grand Bahama, and it did not budge for at least another 24 hours.

Marco’s South Beach was pleasantly breezy with light white caps and volunteers enjoyed a relatively deserted beach.  Due to the threat of Hurricane Dorian, beachgoers stayed away from coastal cities like Marco Island. Florida was still within the Dorian’s cone of destruction, but volunteers took the opportunity to take in the calm and beauty of Marco’s pristine beach.

JW Marriott, however was enjoying visitors from the East Coast and due to the declared State of Emergency, pets were allowed and had the run of the luxury resort. Beachgoers encountered several dogs on the beach and luckily, pet owners had plastic bags handy to scoop out their pet waste.

Something new also turned up along the wrack-line – microplastic, a noticeable collection of colorful bits and pieces of plastic that broke down from larges pieces. Most likely it was washed ashore by the previous high tide. The pieces were tiny enough that shorebirds could easily mistake it for food.

Still, plastic cups, lids biodegradable straws, beer cans, bottles and cigarette butts continue to litter the beach. Not deterred by Katie O’Hara’s warning of snakes, Donna Kazcka and Deb Lashley, working as a team, found large pieces of wood and metal railings among the vegetation.

A big thank you to all the volunteers who continue to support the monthly beach clean-up. Thank you to Tara O’Neill who came from Goodland and a shout out to Marie Lynn and Ray McChesney for keeping the group hydrated.

We are encouraging all businesses to please sign up and sponsor a monthly beach clean-up for the 2020 season. We can’t keep the beach clean and safe without you. Let’s all preserve Marco’s natural treasure.



 

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