On Saturday, August 21st, over 35 members and staff from Defenders of Wildlife and Ocean Conservancy met at the South Skyway Fishing Pier in Palmetto, Florida for another successful “Coastline Cleanup.” In less than four hours, participants collected over 2,000 pounds of marine debris and trash! A cleanup effort at the same site three months ago collected a similar amount.
Beach cleanups make a big difference for our community and our wildlife. Each year, hundreds of animals such as birds, sea turtles, manatees and dolphins are injured, maimed or killed by marine debris in the Tampa Bay area alone. Removing the debris from beaches and coastal waters is the best way to eliminate this deadly threat, and also prevents the debris from becoming hazardous material should it come into contact with oil – requiring a much more complicated and dangerous cleanup process.
We still do not know the extent of the harm that the millions of gallons of oil and toxic dispersants from the Deepwater Horizon oil disaster will have on our marine environment and wildlife. But by cleaning up the coastline now, we hope to give Gulf wildlife a fighting chance for survival. Thank you to all of our volunteers that came out on Saturday, we truly appreciate your help, without you this event would not be possible. We thank you and especially our wildlife thanks you!
To find out how you can help protect wildlife in the Gulf no matter where you live, visit www.gulfoilspillrecovery.org.