Monday, January 24, 2022

Friends of Tigertail Beach Annual International Coastal Clean-Up

Styrofoam cup and a bag full of plastic pieces collected from Sand Dollar spit, an area closed to the public during nesting season when shorebirds, seabirds and wading birds use the area for nesting, foraging and resting.

Friends of Tigertail Beach recently held their Annual International Coastal Clean-up. Each year on the third Saturday of September, thousands of volunteers all over the world head out to their local International Coastal Clean-up location. In Marco Island, more than 40 volunteers scoured two miles of Tigertail Beach and the nearby lagoon.

According to Allie Delventhal of the Friends of Tigertail Beach, kudos to the 19 students from Marco Island Academy, mostly from the Key Club, an organization dedicated to community volunteer service. The most common trash found was roofing materials leftover from Hurricane Irma a year ago. The heroic efforts of the volunteers managed to clean up the parking lot, an area with the most trash. Most likely due to the fewer beachgoers during the months of July and September, there was less overall trash collected along the beach.

Over the last 30 years, 13 million volunteers around the world have participated in the Ocean Conservancy’s Annual International Coastal Cleanup (ICC) to help keep our coasts trash free. Last year alone, more than 800,000 people kept 20 million pounds of trash—most of it plastic—out of the ocean.

You Are What You Eat: Sadly, plastic is finding its way into the marine food web, from the smallest of phytoplankton and zooplankton to the largest animals including seabirds, turtles, dolphins and whales. Beyond choking and entangling sea life, chemical contaminants can be transferred from plastics to the animals that we often eat for food.

Muddy Mess on Central Beach: During the clean-up, muddy areas showed vegetation and algae growth due to pooling and ponding in front of the South Seas Towers all the way to Residents Beach. These sections collect water for days after a downpour reducing recreational use of the beach and making it difficult for condo owners to traverse the muddy flat beach.

More Sand Coming Up: Minutes from the July 12, 2018 meeting of the Collier County Coastal Zone Advisory Committee confirmed that the central beach re-grade project (for the area from Sand Dollar Island to the Marriott) design has been completed. The proposal is to re-grade the area with approximately 190,000 cubic yards of sand to prevent ponding on the beaches during rainy season. This project is to provide more sand mass on the beaches and create higher and wider dunes in the areas. For a project timetable call 239-252-2966.

Save the Date: December 8, 2018 – Friends of Tigertail Saturday beach clean-up.

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