Pasco Coastal Cleanup a Success despite Hurricane Irma

Community strength shines through volunteerism

Pasco County’s 2017 International Coastal Cleanup was a success, despite Hurricane Irma’s impact.  692 volunteers turned out on Saturday, September 16, 2017 and collected 6.23 tons (12,460 pounds) of trash.

This year, Hurricane Irma passed just to the east of Pasco County several days before the Cleanup.  After it was determined that most of Pasco County had been spared the brunt of Irma’s impact, organizers decided to move forward with the Coastal Cleanup.

Two boys show their community spirit at the Gulf Harbors Cleanup. Image courtesy of Pasco County.

 

“Our fear was if we canceled, we would not be able to reschedule it,” said Kristen King, Keep Pasco Beautiful Coordinator.  “We were all still dealing with Irma’s effects, but were determined to show we would persevere. After all, we are Florida Strong.”

The storm made for some unique challenges, however.  Two haulers who had donated dumpsters had to divert them for storm debris.  The three sites in East Pasco had to cancel due to debris, standing water and power outages.  Schools were closed, so it proved difficult to reach student volunteers, and donated water was not available in time.  Despite these setbacks, nearly 700 dedicated volunteers helped clean up the coast!

A student cleans the Anclote Gulf Park Fishing Pier. Image courtesy of Pasco County.

 

Each year volunteers throughout Pasco County participate in the Coastal Cleanup, including groups such as Boy Scouts; Girl Scouts; the Rotary Club of New Port Richey; various high school and middle school clubs; and several Adopt-A-Road organizations.

For more information about Keep Pasco Beautiful, click here: http://keeppascobeautiful.org.