Visit South Walton, in partnership with Friends of South Walton Sea Turtles Volunteer Beach Ambassador Team, hosted the 2021 International Coastal Cleanup on Saturday, September 18th from 9:00 – 11:00 am. A host team of 33 Volunteer Beach Ambassadors and Neighborhood Captains covered 7 sites across South Walton.
Although weather had been tumultuous the week leading up to the event, there was only a small amount of rain across South Walton that morning as fair skies spread across much of the southern county. All told, there was a good number of citizens came out to participate in this world wide global event as ICC hosted 247 adults and 115 students for a total of 362 participants. At an average of 2 hours per person, Walton County citizens donated approximately 724 hours of their time to clean up our beautiful beaches.
This year the VBA Team put additional preparatory time into learning how to use the Clean Swell App and helped others sign up onsite for data collection. While the paper data forms were plentiful and well used, their totals do not reflect our total debris collection, as Ocean Conservancy will not have that data assessed from the Clean Swell App for a while. But based on the data cards, Walton County citizenry did a fine job. Listed below are the numbers for the Top Ten Items collected from our beaches:
#1 Cigarette Butts 4,028
#2 Small Plastic Pieces/Particles 2,655
#3 Plastic Bottle Caps 562
#4 Food Wrappers (candy, chips, etc) 515
#5 Foam Pieces 465
#6 Straws/Stirrers 432
#7 Other Plastic/Foam Packaging 215
#8 Metal Bottle Caps 166
#9 Fireworks 155
#10 Relative Tie between Construction Materials 130 and Cigar Tips 126
Visit South Walton and The Friends of South Walton Sea Turtles would like to thank all of the site captains and their host team for a job well done, the citizens that gave of their time and effort to volunteer to cleanup South Walton Beaches, and Christy Gibson, Manager of the Visit South Walton Visitor Center, and her team for providing the Octopus themed ICC t-shirts to all of our volunteers. It was another GREAT International Coastal Cleanup for South Walton.
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