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SoWal International Coastal Cleanup 2021 Results

October 10, 2021 by SoWal Staff

Friends of South Walton Sea Turtles will once again host the International Coastal Cleanup. 

UPDATE 10/10/21

Visit South Walton, in partnership with Friends of South Walton Sea Turtles Volunteer Beach Ambassador Team, hosted the 2021 International Coastal Cleanup on Saturday, Sept. 18. A host team of 33 Volunteer Beach Ambassadors and Neighborhood Captains covered seven sites across South Walton. The sites included the Miramar Beach Regional Beach Access, Dune Allen Regional Beach Access, Ed Walline Regional Beach Access, Santa Clara Regional Beach Access, Inlet Beach Regional Beach Access, Big Red Fish Coastal Dune Lake and the public beach behind Surf Hut off Scenic Gulf Drive in Miramar Beach.

"The Volunteer Spirit of Walton County citizens never ceases to amaze me,” Lead Beach Ambassador Laurie Reichenbach said. “Once again, people from all over the county showed up to put in the time to clean our beaches for International Coastal Cleanup. We had 360 plus volunteers, both adults and Walton County School Students make this cleanup their Saturday morning priority and we are thankful for their service. I also want to thank the Volunteer Beach Ambassadors who hosted our 7 sites and did a fantastic job registering the volunteers and getting shirts handed out to all.  International Coastal Cleanup proved that a small group of dedicated citizens can make a true difference in their community. And, they did!"­

Participants saw only a small amount of rain in Miramar as fair skies spread across much of South Walton. Volunteers included 247 adults and 115 students amounting to 362 participants.  At an average of two hours per person, Walton County citizens donated approximately 724 hours of their time to clean the beaches. 

This year the VBA Team put additional preparatory time into learning how to use the Clean Swell App and helped other people get signed up onsite for data collection. While the paper data forms were plentiful and well used, their totals do not reflect our total debris collection, as Ocean Conservancy will not have that data assessed from the Clean Swell App for a while. But based on the data cards, Walton County citizenry did a fine job. 

Top Ten Items collected from our beaches per data sheet count only:

#1 Cigarette Butts 4,028

#2 Small Plastic Pieces/Particles 2,655

#3 Plastic Bottle Caps 562

#4 Food Wrappers (candy, chips, etc) 515

#5 Foam Pieces 465

#6 Straws/Stirrers 432

#7 Other Plastic/Foam Packaging 215

#8 Metal Bottle Caps 166

#9 Fireworks 155

#10 Relative Tie between Construction Materials 130 and Cigar Tips 126

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Original Event Details:

Visit South Walton would like to thank all the site captains and their host team for a job well done, the citizens that gave of their time and effort to volunteer to cleanup South Walton Beaches, and Christy Gibson, Manager of the Visit South Walton Visitor Center, and her team for providing the Octopus themed ICC t-shirts to all of our volunteers. It was another GREAT International Coastal Cleanup for South Walton!

The Volunteer Beach Ambassador Team invites all community members and visitors to the Emerald Coast to join efforts to clean up the beaches of South Walton on Saturday morning, September 18th, from 9:00 to 11:00AM.  Registration begins at 8:45AM.

All participants are encouraged to provide their own trash bags or buckets, gloves, hat, sunscreen, water bottle, etc.  There will be limited bags/gloves available for those without.  In addition, it is recommended you wearing a facemask for your personal safety and the safety of others.

If you would like to join in a clean up at a Regional Access, you will find Host Volunteer Beach Ambassadors at the following locations:

Inlet Beach Regional Access,  139 S Orange St., Inlet
Santa Clara Regional Access,  3468E Co Hwy 30A, Seagrove
Van Ness Butler Regional Access,  1931 E Co Hwy 30A, Seaside
Ed Walline Regional Access,  4447 W Co Hwy 30A, Gulf Place
Dune Allen Regional Access,  5999 W Co Hwy 30A, Dune Allen
Miramar Beach Regional Access,  2375 Scenic Gulf Dr., Miramar Beach

See details, photos, and maps of all South Walton Beach Accesses in the SoWal Beach Access Guide >

If you would like to help at Big Red Fish Coastal Dune Lake contact lauriereichenbach@gmail.com for details.

OCEAN CONSERVANCY

For more than 35 years, our International Coastal Cleanup (ICC) has galvanized communities worldwide to collect trash that pollutes our waterways, making our coasts cleaner and our ocean healthier. Together with partners we’ve brought 16 million volunteers–like you–to help us collect more than 340 million pounds of trash. Volunteers have helped the ICC become a beacon of hope, inspiring action worldwide, and that support has never been more needed than now.

This year, we’re making the ICC a time for people to reconnect with each other, the waters they love so much, and Ocean Conservancy’s mission of keeping our ocean free of trash.

More info: Ocean Conservancy

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