Crystal River Preserve Coastal Cleanup a Success
Volunteers remove five hundred eighty pounds of trash from Ozello trail
Actions, speak louder than words, and eighty-three volunteers acted to save our waterways while working with staff from the Crystal River Preserve State Park during the 2018 International Coastal Cleanup.
“Each year I hope there will be less trash collected than from previous years and, sadly, each year there’s always more.” says Marla Chancey Park Services Specialist.
In three hours, volunteers removed 580 pounds of litter from the road shoulders preventing plastics and contaminants from slipping into the waterways, hammock islands and tidal creeks that make up a significant portion of the Preserve.
The trash removed contained items ranging from bags full of yard waste, tarps and clothing to containers full of used motor oil.
“Whatever time and money residents and visitors saved by illegally dumping trash or littering, it’s the future health of our estuary and wildlife that will pay the ultimate price,” says Chancey.
To ensure Ozello is prioritized as a trash pick-up location the Preserve partners with Citrus County’s Aquatic Services to transport the garbage to the landfill. Chancey says, “it’ll take more than one time a year to keep trash from entering the estuary.” She encourages volunteer groups, business owners, and residents to participate in established programs such as Citrus County’s Adopt-A-Highway program or join in the year-round efforts sponsored by Keep Citrus County Beautiful.
The Crystal River Preserve is comprised of over 27,000 acres of coastal habitat that protects the water quality of first magnitude spring fed rivers such as the Crystal River and Homosassa River. These rivers and their spring sheds are crucial to the supply of freshwater to the Gulf of Mexico, where it mixes with saltwater to create one of Florida’s most productive and biologically diverse estuaries.
For more information on Crystal River Preserve State Park, https://www.floridastateparks.org/park/Crystal-River-Preserve