Local coastal cleanup projects sought

Published 12:02 am Tuesday, September 3, 2013

What do tires, electronics and live puppies have in common? They have all been found discarded in various local waterways over the past 25 years by volunteers donating their time to cleaning up the debris and keeping it from filtering into the Gulf of Mexico.

According to Janet Wofford, zone captain for the Blackwater Rivers Clean Water Partnership, the 26th annual Alabama Coastal Cleanup effort will include folks form across Alabama coming together on Sat., Sept. 21, for the state’s largest annual volunteer event.

Wofford is asking local residents to adopt a local project for any shoreline.

“It can be a river, a lake, a stream, a creek, whatever,” she said. “We will provide the gloves, garbage bags, T-shirts and other supplies needed to complete the project.”

Wofford said debris found in local waters is a problem that often begins on dry land.

“This trash then washes into waterways during storms,” she said. “This eyesore can pose a real threat to both marine wildlife and humans.”

Wofford said the annual cleanup event is part of a larger, international cleanup effort coordinated by the Ocean Conservancy and, in Alabama, is led by volunteers form the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources and the Alabama People Against a Littered State.

Wofford said groups including citizens, school groups, business and church groups, scouts, clubs and more typically participate in the event, but more help is always needed for the 26-zone cleanup effort.

“They pick up what they find and record the data, which is submitted to the Ocean Conservancy to track what is getting into our oceans,” Wofford said. “The information is used for education on the source of the debris and American behaviors as a society.”

For more information, or to get involved in the cleanup, contact Wofford at (334) 488-4511 or by email at janetwofford@andycable.com.