Once a year the community pulls together and scours the coastlines of Florida to try and pick up as much trash and scattered debris as possible. It`s a great weekend as you see people of all ages, demographics and backgrounds come together for one worthy cause...to clean up our coast lines.
I love seeing the dumpster fill up with plastic bottles, aluminum cans, washed up cover-net, debris that might harm an unsuspecting boater while enjoying a relaxing weekend in Cedar Key. I think I read a post made on Coastal Clean-Up Facebook page that this year was a record year for the amount of trash collected.
Heath Davis and Ron Bricker doing the Costal Cleanup
Although that`s a great accomplishment and something we all should be proud of, my question is "Why only once a year?"
We live on a small island that has miles and miles of coastline. We`re surrounded by beaches and many of our locals rely on the water for their livelihood. If you don`t work on the water, there is no way around the fact that the water is what draws us all to Cedar Key. I question why there is so much debris to be collected in the first place.
If you`re coming to the Gulf of Mexico to fish and hopefully try and enjoy its beauty, do you leave your trash in it when you leave? If so, you don`t deserve to enjoy it in the first place. If you`re heading out on a boat, it should be your duty to make sure everything on your boat is secure so nothing flies out and lands in the water. When putting your boat on the trailer to head home, everything should be checked again to be sure nothing will fly out while driving home. I cannot begin to tell you how many times I see items fly out of boats heading out of Cedar Key along HWY 24. This is not only littering the roadways, but it`s dangerous to other motorists that might be traveling behind you.
Shouldn`t we all make a conscious effort to be policing the shorelines while out enjoying them? You don`t have to wait till the annual Coastal Clean-Up to pick up anything and everything you see while walking through town, enjoying the solitude of a secluded beach or biking any of our boardwalks or trails around Cedar Key.
I would think the local fisherman, the clammers and hordes of boaters would take more pride in their own backyards and do the best they could to keep their working environment spotless. Wouldn`t it be amazing if next year during the annual Coastal Clean-Up there was nothing to clean up! Wouldn`t it be great if every day was Coastal Clean-Up day and our coastlines stayed spotless?
I`d like to challenge our town to be known as the cleanest coastline in the State of Florida. Don`t wait for that once a year day to clean up our backyards and recycle anything lying around. We know that next storm is right around the corner that will only distribute anything not tied down into the Gulf where it doesn`t belong. Take care of it before it gets blown away and put trash where it belongs, not along the edge of the roadways or beaches where it`s only going to harm our sea life.
Thanks to all who helped out this year and let`s make EVERY DAY Coastal Clean-Up Day!