Once trash is collected - and in many cases, recycled - the challenge lies in determining where it comes from and what it means.
Cleanup volunteers use standardized data collection cards, developed by the Ocean Conservancy, to record more than 80 specific debris items in seven categories; plastic, foam, glass, rubber, metal, wood, and cloth. Analysis of the debris is important because it enhances our ability to create positive change.
A Growing Idea
The Ocean Conservancy's first beach cleanup was in 1986 on the Texas coast with 2,800 volunteers. Since this time, the volunteer's cleanup effort, onbehalf of the marine environment, has become "international". Cumulatively, more than one million people in over 100 countries have participated in the cleanup since it became an international event in 1989. The International Coastal Cleanup (ICC) is the planets largest volunteer effort for the benefit of the marine environment. This ICC effort (and our local Adopt A Shore program) takes place each year.
439 volunteers - 2,560 lbs. / 1.28 tons of debris collected
586 volunteers - 8,180 lbs. / 4.09 tons of debris collected
586 Volunteers - 5,540 lbs. / 2.77 tons of debris collected
577 Volunteers - 6,560 lbs. / 3.28 tons of debris collected
667 Volunteers – 8,680 lbs. / 4.34 tons of debris collected
The mission of the ICC (and our local effort) is:
- to remove debris from the shorelines, waterways, and beaches of the world's lakes, rivers, and oceans;
- to collect valuable information on the amounts and types of debris;
- to educate people on the issue of marine debris; and
- to use the information collected from the cleanup to effect positive change - on all levels, from the individual to the international - to reduce marine debris and enhance marine conservation.
How to get involved?
Contact Debra Burden at (352)527-7684 to advise them you would like to be added to the annual distribution list of participants. In June or July, Citrus 20/20 will mail out information on the upcoming event. This will include the contract agreement for your group, a sign up sheet, safety guidelines and information pertaining to the scheduled safety meeting. See Citrus County Water Resources for this information.
There is a volunteer from each side of the County (East, West) that will be in-charge of contacting the participants. One member from each group must attend the safety meeting prior to the clean-up. At this time, all supplies, which include: shirts, gloves, hats, data cards, trash bags, pencils, stickers, etc. will be distributed to the proper representative to pass along to their organization.
Even though the debris has decreased through the past years, it just goes to show that together everybody can make a difference on Citrus Counties beautiful waterways.
We would like to take this opportunity to thank all of the participants that have helped out in the past and would like to invite any and all residents to help out in the future.
One benefit to participating in the Adopt-A-Shore program is your "group" will have their name placed on a sign within the area that you have "adopted". Let 's see your group listed next year.