Environmental group, volunteers to clean Punta Gorda waterways Saturday

Trash is contaminating our waterways at an alarming rate, and just this week the World Health Organization sounded the alarm about “micro-plastics” infiltrating our drinking water.

The amount of new plastic in the ocean is a staggering number, with 17 billion per year, the equivalent weight of 35 cruise ships.

This weekend a group is taking to the waters to do their part in clearing out trash from Southwest Florida waters.

More than 50 volunteers are meeting at city hall in Punta Gorda Saturday morning.

The group so large the Coastal and Heartland National Estuary partnership will split up the volunteers so they can cleanup multiple locations, including the stretch along Veterans Highway, which Keep Charlotte Beautiful identified as a popular spot for trash.

Coastal and Heartland National Estuary Partnership’s goal is to cleanup plastic bottles, soda cans, and other pieces of garbage before it’s carried by rainwater runoff into our lakes, rivers, and the gulf.

This will ultimately reduce micro-plastics from being ingested by marine life and even people.

There will also be a kayak team picking up garbage that’s already entered the water.

If you can’t make it to the cleanup tomorrow event organizers say you can still do your part to help the environment.

‘”Even if they can’t come out to our cleanup Saturday, even if they can’t come out September 21st it’s always important to think about what you’re purchasing and in your day to day life and you go on a walk with your dog bring an extra plastic bag and pick up trash and bring it all home with you. It really makes a difference,” Research and Outreach Manager at CHNEP, Nicole Iadevaia said.

If you would like to assist in the cleanup, you can join them at 9 a.m. at Punta Gorda City Hall on West Marion Ave.

Reporter:Janae Muchmore
Brea Hollingsworth
Writer:Lincoln Saunders
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