Participants sought for coastal cleanup

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Litter can be an eyesore to any surface it touches, that’s why local officials are participating in the annual Alabama Coastal Cleanup — to help eliminate it from the area.

The coastal cleanup is an annual initiative that works on two different levels, the actual cleanup and educating the public about how litter problems affect water quality.

“Any trash discarded, if not picked up, will eventually end up in a water way,” said Janet Wofford, zone captain of the Conecuh-Sepulga & Blackwater Rivers Clean Water Partnership. “Which for us is the Pensacola Bay.”

This year’s cleanup initiative is set for Sat., Sept. 20, and those interested in becoming involved with this project can coordinate with Wofford on the location, the supplies and disposal.

The areas for cleanup are practically at locals’ back door, Wofford said, and individuals and groups are encouraged to select an area that has meaning to them.

Wofford devotes most of her year to giving presentations to solicit support and interest in the cleanup, but also to educate the public on the implications that litter has on the environment.

“Locally, litter and illegal dumping are considered to be one of our main water pollutants,” Wofford said. “Litter is unsightly, harmful to aquatic life, dangerous to our aquifers, and it has a negative effect on property values.”

In the last 26 years, Alabama Coastal Cleanup volunteers have removed more than 1.4 million pounds of debris from Alabama’s coastlines and waterways, she said.

The project has seen more than 70,000 volunteers, but Wofford says she hopes to see an increase in participation.

This project is an excellent opportunity for civic clubs, scouts, church groups and school clubs to get involved with, Wofford said.

“Organized groups could adopt this as an annual project,” she said. “While Baldwin and Mobile counties have the highest and most visible participation, because of coastal waters, what we accomplish inland is equally important.”

For more information, contact Janet Wofford by email or by visiting the website