Sunday, December 16, 2012

Kayaker join us. Boarders join us

GREAT NEWS FOR OUR INDIAN RIVER LAGOON

Marine Cleanup Initiative Inc is excited to have been awarded the contract to oversee and maintain the Spoil Islands of Martin and St Lucie Counties as well as Morris Creek and Taylor Creek for the next two years.

Although these Spoil Islands are cleaned one day a year by the Marine Industry Association of the Treasure Coast’s not-for-profit branch, Waterway Cleanup Committee, as well as the FDEP Indian River Lagoon Aquatic Preserves’s Adopt a Spoil Island Program that also conduct monthly cleanups fromOctober to April with the help of volunteers and several state and local agencies.



MCII was lucky enough recently to participate and support a local kid paddle boarding the Lagoon to bring attention to the waterway. We found trash covering the entire 167 miles we covered. The spoil islands were the worst.

Of the islands, about half prohibit access closer than 100 feet due to birds and nesting areas. MCII will work in close conjunction with DEP and FWC and the Audubon Society to find the best times to clean these nesting places. The other islands support tons of campers and boaters who select their favorite and appear to leave it covered with their personal trash.

Our process is easy: Divers will do little to help here. We are asking kayakers, canoers and SUP boarders to join our efforts. We are having a contest to stimulate participation. We are having a party to bond and engage these new volunteers. We are conducting a spoil island cleanup and a dive cleanup on January 12 to get this all rolling.

When the season is right and we gain the “go ahead”, our shallow water crafts will get in close to the mangrove roots and branches and extract the debris with no impact on the trees or birds. Our contest is basically an opportunity to see what ideas people have to get this trash. There are no bad ideas or tools. If it works we will evaluate it for the contest.

The public islands will be cleared of debris by using kayaks around the edges and feet on the ground to get the trash gathered and removed. FWC and other agencies will join MCII’s volunteers to engage the public while on these islands and stress the need to bag their trash and pack it home for proper disposal. An information process will begin asking the public to keep the islands clean. As there are anti-litter laws on the books, well-place articles will stress there will be a two-year moratorium of fines while this education program and cleanup works to get the public involved. Information signs will be placed on the public islands asking people to bag and remove their trash and that fines will begin in 2015 if progress is not made.
These island cleanups will work in conjunction with diving removals and our boats will be used to carry the debris collected.

It is obvious the one day a year method was not working and only window dressing by the $30 billion industry to show some very limited interest in the waters that bring so much money to them.

Join our effort and continue to help make a difference in our environment and waterways. We will be seeking grants to clear the tributaries that feed into the Lagoon and hopefully, this comprehensive concept will greatly reduce the debris and maybe stimulate the Industries and public actually responsible for this trash and littering to step up and lead from behind….

THAT WILL BE A GRAND DAY. HELP ME MAKE IT SOONER…not later. THEY FEEL OUR PROGRESS… THEY CAN SEE OUR IMPACT… NUMBERS…LET’S SHOW THEM NUMBERS.

Tell your friends. If you Kayak…if you have a kayak…join us. If you Standup board… join us. If you have one, join us. If you are a canoer… join us. If you can but need a craft, Lisa’s Kayaks, Dive Odyssea, Little Jim Bridge Kayak Rentals or Motorized Kayaks can help you out.

Sign up… make a cleanup device… come help…attend our party

0 comments:

Post a Comment