International Coastal Cleanup Day inspires beachgoers to clean up our shores

People all over the world, including those at Coquina Beach, are pitching in to take litter off...
People all over the world, including those at Coquina Beach, are pitching in to take litter off the beaches to protect our environment.(Shane Battis)
Published: Sep. 17, 2022 at 11:31 AM EDT
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MANATEE COUNTY, Fla. (WWSB) - Beachgoers all over the world are flocking to the coast, not to enjoy the beauty but to keep it that way.

Saturday is International Coastal Cleanup Day 2022 where thousands of people are joining in on a massive effort to protect the natural beauty of coastlines by picking up trash as a team.

At Coquina Beach in Manatee County, a small group of volunteers are joining in, taking up gloves and bags to scour the sands for garbage. Organizers partnering with Keep Nature Wild do cleanups like this regularly, but this event publicized online drew in fresh faces.

Larissa Sullivan, a wild keeper with Keep Nature Wild, said the amount of trash you can find various from beach to beach, but there’s always work to be done. Many of these spots are littered with plastic, cans, fishing lines and cigarette butts.

“We came here for Earth Day under the pier there and found tons of fishing lines and weights and hooks and all kinds of stuff,” Sullivan said. “Hopefully there’s not that much out here, but we’re going to try our best and get as much as we can.”

Sullivan emphasized it’s important to keep the sands clear because many Suncoast beaches are home to nesting sea turtles, so trash can hurt the animals.

She expressed how wonderful it is seeing so many people throughout the country focusing on our environment for a day. However, she’d like to see beachgoers doing cleanups even more often.