For Hometown News
Residents and visitors are encouraged to play a role in preserving Volusia County's coastal waterways by participating in the International Coastal and Halifax/Indian River Cleanup from 8 to 10 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 15.
This worldwide annual event, hosted by the Ocean Conservancy, features many locations along the coast for people interested in helping clean up the environment. This year, the Halifax/Indian River clean up - historically held in the spring - is being held in conjunction with the International Coastal Cleanup.
Over the past 26 years, more than 9 million volunteers have removed more than 145 million pounds of trash from 152 countries. Last year in Volusia County, there were 816 volunteers who removed 2,178 pounds of trash off our local beaches.
"Not only is trash cleaned up during this event to help preserve our environment, but also every piece collected is recorded," said Stacey Bell, cleanup coordinator with Volusia County Environmental Management. "This gives us the ability to identify what types of items are polluting the coast and can give us insight on solutions to prevent this type of litter in the future."
Food packaging and smoking related items has been the top two items removed from coastlines worldwide over the past 26 years totaling more than 66 million pieces removed. Over the last 26 years, Ocean Conservancy beach cleanup volunteers have collected enough cups, plates, forks, knives and spoons to host a picnic for 2 million people.
Volunteers can participate in the cleanup at locations along the Halifax River, Indian River Lagoon and
beaches from Ormond-by-the-Sea south to Bethune Beach and Oak Hill. Visit www.volusia.org/cleanup to view all Volusia County locations and clean-up event details. Some river locations host boat launches for participants to bring their own kayaks, canoes or motor boats to clean the coast. Those who pre-register online will receive a Coastal Cleanup memento at the end of the event.
Participants are encouraged to bring buckets or used, plastic shopping bags to separate recyclables from trash; garden gloves to reduce the trash generated by the use of plastic gloves; and drinking water. They should also wear sunglasses, a hat, sunscreen and comfortable clothing and footwear.
For more information about the cleanup, visit www.volusia.org/cleanup, call (386) 238-4716.