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Coastal Cleanup this weekend

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By The Staff

Cedar Key is holding its annual Coastal Cleanup that is part of an international effort to clean the world's shorelines and document what is littering our shores. 

City Commissioner Sue Colson who organizes the cleanup every year has a new student Co-Chair Ridley Reynolds, who is succeeding older sister Chloe Reynolds. 

Colson said the effort will need volunteers to help gather trash and bring it back to the City Marina so the information on how much and what type of litter was found can be entered into a database and made a part of an international database. 

The cleanup is Saturday, Sept. 21, from 8 a.m. to noon and volunteers can choose to go out in a boat – if they can provide one  or go to specific assigned spots on the island. Colson said her group will provide the trash bags and lunch for the olunteers, but individuals will need to provide their own good footwear, work gloves, hat, sunscreen and water. 

“We participate in the International Coastal Cleanup that is part of a worldwide effort, but this provides a scientific slice of our area. We go through each piece of garbage and characterize it. And from that we actually try to provide some remedy locally,” Colson said. 

“We have done that with cigarette butts,” she said. The Students Working Against Tobacco and children on the island have picked up butts from one end of the island to the other documenting their location. “Last year we had a reduction by almost 50 percent because we had different businesses provide smoking areas,” she said. 

She said G Street had a lot of trash picked up in the past and now there are cans avaialable. “So when you provide things people use them,” she said. 

The best news she said is that every year there is a reduction in the amount of trash collected in Cedar Key.

“We have a big reduction and we have more people and more miles of coast and less trash,” she said.