Daytona Beach, FL – It’s time again to get the beaches and rivers clean.
Volunteer registration began yesterday in Volusia County for the local version of the International Coastal Cleanup, better known as the Halifax/Indian River Cleanup. Registration will remain open until August 31st.
It’s usually scheduled for the third Saturday in September each year, which is the case this year (September 15th) in Volusia County. Palm Coast will be doing their version the Saturday prior and registration for that event is already underway.
Becki O’Keefe, Sea Turtle Habitat Conservation Field Manager with Volusia County, said that while the number of volunteers normally increases, last year’s event was a little different.
1,082 people showed and collected 4,545 pounds of trash, which O’Keefe thinks was largely due to many homes still without power in the wake of Hurricane Irma. Also, damage from the storm made it difficult to get to some of the areas normally included in the cleanup.
O’Keefe tells us the volunteer registration starts early so that there is enough time to coordinate the volunteers.
Some of the river locations have boat launches and the county encourages those with kayaks or other small vessels to bring them so there’s access to hard-to-reach areas.
Participants are also asked to bring garden gloves, drinking water and buckets for collecting trash along with a hat, sunscreen, comfortable clothing and outdoor footwear.
O’Keefe says the beach sites are the most popular for volunteers but the river locations usually collect a lot more trash.
Last year, over 789,000 volunteers around the world collected more than 20 million pounds of trash during the International Coastal Cleanup, which is sponsored by the Ocean Conservancy.