Keep Tampa Bay Beautiful gearing up for International Coastal Cleanup Day, volunteers needed

Hillsborough County

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – Keep Tampa Bay Beautiful is preparing for this year’s International Coastal Cleanup Day and they need your help.

Close to 70,000 pounds of trash was collected in just a few hours last year.

8 On Your Side’s Daisy Ruth spoke with the executive director of the organization to learn more prior to Sept. 21’s event.

“We have a little over 80 sites throughout Hillsborough County with already 4,000 volunteers signed up,” said Debbie Evenson. “We’re looking at closer to 5,000 volunteers this year. As you can see, it’s beautiful weather… and they’re really gearing up to be part of the International Coastal Cleanup.”

According to the Ocean Conservancy website, the International Coastal Cleanup began more than 30 years ago. Keep Tampa Bay Beautiful has been along for much of the way, calling their event “Hillsborough River and Coastal Cleanup.”

“We’ve been doing the coastal cleanup for 30 years, since the beginning of the organization. So we’ve just always been a part of the International Coastal Cleanup on this day and have loved being part of it.”

Evenson said Wimauma is a great area to volunteer, as well as the Courtney Campbell Causeway.

“Tampa Bypass canal is a great site for volunteers to go to. It’s always full of lots of trash and an area where volunteers are desperately needed,” she said.

The volunteer event is meant for the entire family, from moms and dads to children.

“As long as they’re walking, they can pick up trash and we provide everything that’s needed for our volunteers,” Evenson said. “Everything from gloves, water, trash bags, pick-up sticks, nets if needed on the waterside, so we provided everything that’s needed for our volunteers to really give back in the community.”

Event volunteers can utilize the Clean Swell app to play scientist for a day.

The app lets volunteers collect data and report what kind of trash they’re collecting at their location. Clean Swell even lets volunteers know the total weight of what they’ve collected.

To sign up to volunteer Sept. 21, head to keeptampabaybeautiful.org. Sites at capacity for volunteers will be marked in red.

Registration at all locations starts at 7:30 a.m. and the cleanup will begin at 8 a.m.

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