Volunteers keep paradise looking beautiful
BONITA SPRINGS- Keep Lee County Beautiful held its annual coastal clean up on Saturday. Last year, more than 950 volunteers collected more than 4,500 pounds of trash.
Connor Finger is celebrating his 7th birthday on Saturday near Bonita Beach. He's thrilled to spend his special day near the shoreline.
"I wanted to be nice to my family. I know they wanted to clean up the beach," said Connor.
Connor joins hundreds on Saturday for the annual coastal cleanup. Volunteers hit Bonita Springs, Fort Myers and Matlacha to pick up litter. Connor's family is use to keeping the beaches beautiful.
"We've always done this. We started when he was a baby. We lived in Tennessee, cleaned up there, cleaned up in Key Largo, now cleaning up here," said Connor's mother.
For some dads like Ben Walters, the cleanup is a chance to teach his son about responsibility.
"I think it will teach him that alot of people might leave there stuff behind, but we can help pick it up and make it beautiful," said Walters.
Volunteers bring trash back and it is weighed. The trash poses a threat to wildlife. Often animals get tangled in fishing tackle or birds eat it. Plastic bags are mistaken for jellyfish and can harm the sea turtles.
"I think people are starting to do a better job and cleaning up after themselves at the beach, not seeing as much volume as we did in the past," said Emory Smith, Lee County Solid Waste Coordinator.
Keep Collier Beautiful, Inc. also held its cleanup today. The group visited places like Delnor Wiggins Pass, Vanderbilt Beach, Lowdermilk Park, Naples Pier, and Clam Pass to pick up trash.
About 2,000 volunteers were expected in both Lee and Collier counties.