Tidying up after a night of fireworks can be a daunting task.
Thanks to the attention and coordination of two nonprofit groups, it can be a worthwhile endeavor in keeping our beaches clean and healthy.
The Fort Myers Beach Community Foundation and Keep Lee County Beautiful combined efforts along with many hard-working volunteers on three locals beaches to collect the leftovers from the Fourth of July festivities. The Post Fireworks Cleanup was deemed a success.
KLCB’s Trish Fancher (l) and Foundation’s Nancy Mulholland and Pat Maio worked the staging area at Crescent Beach Family Park.
The Foundation based their operations at Newton Park and Crescent Beach Family Park and reported about 90 volunteers combined.
"We collected more than 100 bags of trash, about 80 percent of it directly relating to the firework celebration, which I thought was great," stated Foundation member and Beach resident Alice Plaatje, also a KLCB official, through email. "We all were fighting the high tide and trying to get what we could before it was carried to the Gulf."
KLCB worked the beachfront at Bunche Beach. Beach resident and KLCB official Terry Cain, land stewardship coordinator for Lee County Parks & Recreation, also communicated a successful cleanup through email.
"I only had five people, but they did a great job. We collected about 45 to 50 pounds of party debris," she said. "Someone in the early morning or previous evening did a great job of trying to clean up. There was a large bag of trash and the trash bin was full when we got there so Bunche was amazingly clean. We still had some party sites farther down the beach to clean up.
Cain believes the annual effort of the groups is reflective of the concern shown to those after the celebration. She also applauded the Foundation's continuous drive year after year.
"I like to think that eight years of education is starting to pay off," she said. "Thank you from the bottom of my heart for all you do for our Beach and keeping it beautiful!"
The next scheduled tidying collaboration is the Florida Coastal Cleanup on Saturday, Sept 15, from 9 a.m. to noon. Mark your calendar.