ST. PETERSBURG, FL – “8.5 pounds, 15 pounds, 20 pounds!” As volunteers lined up to weigh their trash at the Lassing Park cleanup, those in attendance couldn’t help but get excited about the weights being called out. When all was said in done, over 200 pounds of litter were collected by over 60 members of the College of Marine Science and the surrounding St. Petersburg community as a part of the Marine Science Advisory Council’s (MSAC) 2018 Fall Cleanup. This year, MSAC united with Keep Pinellas Beautiful as a part of their International Coastal Cleanup, an initiative aimed at reducing marine debris along our coastlines. The International Coastal Cleanup puts an emphasis on data collection, so those involved in cleanups are able to pinpoint the largest sources of litter to an area. Plastic bottle caps and straws were two of the most frequently retrieved items on our cleanup – highlighting the environmental harms associated with single-use plastics. Overall, this event not only served to help the environment, but also forge a connection between the college and the St. Pete community.
Story Written By: Carey Schafer, Master’s Student USFCMS