Clearwater Marine Aquarium (CMA) organized a Coastal Cleanup event on October 22, 2017, at the nearby Memorial Causeway. The cleanup event called Winter’s Spooky Trash Stash welcomed the public and encouraged families to come participate and learn about coastal stewardship and marine life conservation.
Over 60 volunteers came to help clean up the coastal area around the causeway and collected an impressive 820 pounds of trash altogether.
Some of the most common items found were plastic wrappers, cigarettes, straws, cups and bottles. Plastic debris is a growing problem in our oceans and a danger for marine animals that may consume the material or become entangled. Larger debris was also picked up, including driftwood, buoys and large batteries.
A few of the most unusual items collected included a:
- message in a bottle
- beer keg
- boat rudder
Keeping Our Coasts Beautiful
Cleanup supplies and giveaways were partially provided by Keep Pinellas Beautiful, a local organization dedicated to environmental community events. CMA also provided buckets and encouraged participants to bring their own containers rather than any trash bags to help reduce plastic waste.
Participants met in the morning at the check-in tent for some refreshments and cleaning gear. The cleanup was held 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. along the Memorial Causeway connecting Downtown Clearwater and Clearwater Beach. The causeway is lined with vital mangrove areas and waterways that are home to Florida wildlife, including baby manatees and dolphins. Along with Halloween giveaways, each participant received a free general admission ticket to CMA. Winter’s Trick or Tweet Halloween Party will be happening at the aquarium Oct. 27-31.