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Cedar Key coastal cleanup begins Saturday

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By Ada Lang

Submitted by LESLIE STURMER

University of Florida/IFAS

Shellfish Aquaculture Extension Program

The Ocean Conservancy’s International Coastal Cleanup kicks off Saturday in Cedar Key. Cleanup of the  shoreline and outlying islands will begin at 8 a.m. Volunteers can sign in and pick up trash bags at the Cedar Key Marina. 

Coastal Cleanup is the world's largest volunteer effort to help protect shorelines. In the past 25 years, nearly nine million volunteers from 152 countries and locations have cleaned 145 million pounds of trash from the shores of lakes, streams, rivers, and the ocean on just one day each year. 

In conjunction with Coastal Cleanup, the Cedar Key Aquaculture Association is initiating a cleanup effort targeting cover netting. This plastic netting is used for predator protection of clam crops. During storm events, cover netting can become dislodged and tidal currents can carry it away from the lease areas. During the week of September 17-23, waste bins will be located at the City Marina for clammers, boaters or anyone to deposit recovered cover netting. 

Boat transportation provided by Tidewater Tours, Island Hopper, and the NWR to offshore keys is available to volunteers on a first-come-first-serve basis.  From noon to 2 p.m., all collected garbage will be sorted and documented on Ocean Conservancy data cards. Hot dogs will be provided to all volunteers. Cold water will also be supplied, but bring your own bottle to fill. 

 Those interested in joining this year's ICC in Cedar Key should contact Sue Colson at 352- 543-6648, or The Ocean Conservancy at 1-800-262-FLOR.