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September 16, 2017
Spearheaded by the University of Florida Institute for Food and Agricultural Sciences Nature Coast Biological Station, the Cedar Key Aquaculture Association, and the City of Cedar Key, Cedar Key’s part in the 2017 International Coastal Cleanup effort was downright remarkable, given the fact that many participants were still cleaning up after Hurricane Irma from the week before.
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People in boats, canoes, and kayaks, and many on foot traversed some 25 different locations in and around Cedar Key rounding up litter.  The islands around us, the back bayous closer to us and everywhere else was scoured for debris by the participants.   Tidewater Tours’ Mike and Connie O’Dell brought in boatloads of debris; Andrew Gude’s crew of Sam Gibbs, Jim Wortham, Rick Anthony, Beth Dieveney, Bristol Rigby, and Arnie and Joannie from Gainesville combed North Key and brought home a boatload of everything one can imagine.  Chris Reynolds and Linda Seyfert returned with enough impressive waste that they received one of the two prizes awarded for the day:  a $20 gift certificate to the 1842 Daily Grind Restaurant here in Cedar Key.
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 The Cedar Key News hopes to have a complete listing of boaters, on-foot collectors, and total amounts collected soon and will publish as soon as possible.
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Nature Coast Biological Station Director Mike Allen remarked, “a good turnout!”  Mendy Allen attributed the day’s success to the tireless efforts of City of Cedar Key Vice-Mayor Sue Colson, Statewide Shellfish Extension Agent for UF/IFAS Extension Leslie Sturmer, and Nature Coast Biological Station Sea Grant Agent Savanna Barry.
Mendy Allen explained that this year, Cedar key’s Costal Cleanup worked with TerraCycle,  The website boasts: “TerraCycle is Eliminating the Idea of Waste® by recycling the "non-recyclable. Whether it's coffee capsules from your home, pens from a school, or plastic gloves from a manufacturing facility, TerraCycle can collect and recycle almost any form of waste.”  And that is exactly what Allen and TerraCycle did.  Large white plastic bags were delivered to Cedar Key; two were filled with plastics by noon Saturday.  TerraCycle will pay for shipping back to them.  “Partnering with them,” said Allen, “is exciting.”   

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The U S Coast Guard also participated this year in the coastal cleanup with a rigid inflatable boat. A crew of four scoured the island waters and returned with cover nets, a collection of plastic discards, and other litter.
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Asked what he thought about the Cleanup efforts, Cedar Key Public Works Director Bill Crandley remarked, “We had a wonderful turnout and a lot of community participation.”
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The debris must be sorted and counted when it is delivered to the Marina dock.  This important information is logged in with the International Coastal Cleanup; Cedar Key keeps its own statistics, as well.  Counters included Eileen Senecal, Libby Cagle, and Lynn Sylver.  Sorters included locals Jeri Treat, Dave Treharne, Roland Senecal, Kaely Hibbitts, and Emily Colson.  They were ably assisted by UF biology graduate student Libby Coulter, Gainesville’s Frankie Perez, Mike Moreau, and Liz Duermit, and UF employees Katrina Cuddy and Daniel Schieltz.  
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The Cedar Key School Students Working against Tobacco, SWAT, group logged locations, picked up, and counted cigarette butts.  The team has been doing this for years now.  Its findings attest to the fact that fewer smokers exist in the area over the years.  Team members included: Audrey Collins, Ali Hallman, and Lisa Smith.   Mom Amy Hallman assisted the team.
Five Gyres Institute ambassador Amanda Wadle lived her mission at the Cleanup sorting everything, including much plastic.  The 5 Gyres is a nonprofit group organized to empower “action against the global health crisis of plastic pollution through science, art, education, and adventure.”  Visit for a positive, illuminating glimpse of a group whose vision is a world free from plastic.
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Sporting their embroidered green aprons, Cedar Key Woman’s Club members President Susan Rosenthal, Judy Treharne, Chris Black, and Jan Hendrix served refreshments, lunch, snacks, and water to workers.  President Rosenthal, her fifth year serving, said, “Another exciting day in Cedar Key on hot dog duty.”  And what hot dogs they were; workers had a choice of a delicious regular-sized hot dog or a huge hot dog.   Rumor has it that the “monster dogs” were the first to be eaten.
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United States Coast Guard Auxiliary Flotilla Commander John P. Cardigan’s display provided much information including paddling and boating safety guides, pollution discharge restrictions, and much more.
Cedar Key School Sophomore Trey Stanfield’s Monofilament Recycling display informed visitors about his recycling efforts.  Stanfield, both verbally and in written narratives, explained the nature of his program, the disastrous effects of non-recycled monofilament, and how viewers could help.  To make the effects of monofilament not being properly recycled, Stanfield showed a floating turtle enmeshed in monofilament and a trail of debris typically encountered in his recycling efforts.   Weekly, Stanfield collects monofilament from nine containers around town, not a task to take lightly.  Speaking with Stanfield convinces his listener that he most certainly does take his task seriously.

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Aquatic Animal Health, part of the College of Veterinary Medicine at UF, was the focus of Laurie Adler and Cedar Key-based Mackenzie Russell’s display.  Their booth attempted to elevate awareness that the organization is, in part, represented in Cedar Key.  Their program goal is “to train veterinary students, veterinarians, upper level graduate and graduate students for leadership roles in marine animal biology and medicine.”
Argo, UF’s Aquatic Research Graduate Organization, was represented by President Allison Durland Donahou.  ARGO was created by and consists of UF’s Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences Program students.  Its mission is “to support the graduate students in the Program of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences.  ARGO accomplishes this goal by promoting interaction among graduate students, and facilitating communication between students and faculty.”
As soon as Cedar Key News receives the comprehensive statistics of the Cleanup, it will publish them.

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