By Dawn Krebs
FORT PIERCE - Some of the kayakers and boaters residents on the area waters are doing more than just enjoying the beautiful weather.
They're working to make the coastlines beautiful as well.
On a regular basis, volunteers join the Marine Cleanup initiative to pick up debris from the shorelines and underwater.
According to a press release from Capt. Don Voss, the project leader of the group, the goal is to see less and less trash.
"The key is public awareness," Capt. Voss said. "If you pack it in, pack it out."
Last month, 45 volunteers joined the group and residents of St. Lucie Village to perform a spoil island clean up on four spoil islands, SL4 through SL8.
"These four islands are cleaner because of the dedicated groups that have adopted and maintained them," he said.
During the cleanup, volunteers used kayaks, paddleboards and diver equipment. More than 2,000 pounds of debris was picked up using bags donated from Nelson Family Farms. The debris included broken glass, cans and other trash from the shorelines. Underwater, diver collected nets, pieces of cable and fishing debris.
In addition, seven lionfish were removed.
"We definitely need to step up our efforts at lionfish removals," said Bob Hickerson, one of the volunteers in a prepared statement.
The cleanup continues with hold at debris and lionfish removal dive in the Fort Pierce Inlet, scheduled to take place on March 2.
Also, on March 16, the initiative will team up with the groups Adventures Unlimited and Outside Adventure Club to complete another spoil island cleanup.
"We're looking for more boaters to help out," Capt. Voss said.
For more information, call Capt. Voss at (772) 528-0675 or go online to www.marinecleanupinitiativeinc.org.