Turning Beach Trash to Art “The Washed Up Project”

Turning Beach Trash to Art “The Washed Up Project”

Photos: Beach Junki, Fernandina Beach, Florida

“The Washed Up Project

The purpose of the Washed Up Project is to collect marine debris and create ocean art that will bring awareness to the plastic pollution washing up.

Amelia the Sea Turtle

Our first Washed Up Project is the Amelia Sea Turtle created by local talented artist, Sandra Baker-Hinton. Amelia was contructed from washed up sunglasses, bottle caps, plastic pieces. Amelia is currently displayed at Seaside. You can find Sandra at Clay Times Art Center in downtown Fernandina Beach.

Shrimpers Paradise

The second project, Shrimpers Paradise, is also constructed from marine debris. It was created by a young talented artist, Kazuki Roca. The items used to construct the shrimp are shotgun shells, and fishing lures. Shrimpers Paradise is currently displayed at Main Beach in Fernandina, next to the Beach Toy Borrow Box.”

— Beach Junki, Fernandina Beach, Florida

Visit Beach Junki here

FDOT: “Litter reduction and protecting our beaches”

FDOT: “Litter reduction and protecting our beaches”

Photo: Dirk Shadd, Tampa Times

“Pockets of open space dot Gandy Beach. Each one is an opening to the blue waters of Tampa Bay, canopied by billowing mangroves. It’s picturesque — just don’t look too close.

If you did, then you might see the beer can peeking out of the sand like a burrowed crab. Or the plastic bag swaying from a mangrove branch.

The empty gallon of water sitting squarely near the shore? Well, that’s a little harder to miss.

But the Florida Department of Transportation is hoping a new project will stop people from littering and parking in the mangroves at Gandy Beach in St. Petersburg. The agency is spending about $70,000 to install bollards — large wooden posts — in front of mangroves lining the beach, Kristen Carson, a spokesperson for the department, said in an email Wednesday.

Gandy Beach averages about 8,000 pounds of trash a day that’s picked up as both litter and from trash cans, according to Carson.

Dana Paganelli, a frequent visitor to the beach, says she’s happy about the bollards. She floated near the shore Wednesday in a pastel-colored pool float. Usually, she said, she’ll bring her own bag and fill it with the garbage she finds at the beach and throw it out later…

The Florida Department of Transportation began installing the posts last week, and the entire project will wrap up in about two weeks. Carson said the agency expects to install about 880 posts.

After the bollards are installed and cars can no longer reach the shore, the agency’s maintenance contractor will begin planting small mangroves in the open areas where the plant could not grow previously due to car traffic…”

— Michaela Mulligan, Times

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Reinstalling Undergrounding Post Surge on Marco Island and Volunteering Experience – “Post Ian Cleanup Brings Unusual Items to Beach”

Reinstalling Undergrounding Post Surge on Marco Island and Volunteering Experience – “Post Ian Cleanup Brings Unusual Items to Beach”

Photo: Coastal Breeze News

“October 15th over 200 volunteers gathered on Residents’ Beach for the annual MICA sponsored beach cleanup. For many of the volunteers, this is the first time they’ve visited the beach post Hurricane Ian…

Hurricane Ian altered many coastal beaches, including Marco Island’s. Earlier in the week, Collier County sent a reminder to residents that “they are working around the clock to restore our beaches – that there is still a lot of debris in the sand and items washing up on the shores such as pieces of wood with nails and other items not visible to the naked eye.”

Photo: Coastal Breeze News

Volunteers were given the usual instructions to be very careful walking on the dunes area and to pick up only man made objects such as plastic items, bottle caps, cigarette butts, aluminum cans, etc.

We were thinking small items, but we were very surprised when volunteers started returning to the collection area with old tires, wooden planks, pieces of furniture and large netting materials – some halfway buried on the dunes and others from the shorelines. There was a theory that these old tires laden with barnacles were dumped into the Gulf decades ago to make artificial reefs – thinking they would create a habitat – and recently washed ashore by Hurricane Ian’s storm surge.

In the small item category, several pockets of the beach were littered with plastic bottle caps. Beach goers and recreational boaters bring water bottles and leave or toss away hundreds of plastic bottle caps, a hazard to marine mammals, birds and fish that mistake these small floating bottle caps as food…

In addition, Residents’ Beach electric lines were buried underground, and though that would have been a benefit during a hurricane, Ian’s surge destroyed the electrical line. LCEC had to replace the big electrical box located at Residents Beach and they installed all new underground lines along San Marco and Collier Boulevard…

Thank you to all the 200+ volunteers who showed up for the MICA sponsored beach cleanup – it was a true community event with an overwhelming show of support. Volunteers left another 500+ pounds of tires and assorted trash at the north end for Collier County to pick up. ”

— Maria Lamb, Coastal Breeze News

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Littering: “4th-grader works to educate others on the issue of cigarette butts littering Florida beaches”

Littering: “4th-grader works to educate others on the issue of cigarette butts littering Florida beaches”

Video: Orlando News 13

“Shells and sand aren’t the only things you’ll see on Florida’s beaches — cigarette butts are also a common sight.

According to a 2021 report from Ocean Conservancy and International Coastal Cleanup, cigarettes were the number one trash item found at beaches in 2020, with 964,521 recorded. Plastic bottles followed with 627,014 recorded and 573,534 food wrappers found.

It’s an issue fourth-grader Robert Dhingra wanted to do something about. Dhingra, who lives in Cocoa Beach, said he really began noticing all the cigarette butts back in January, which bothered him, especially because he didn’t see places for people to dispose of them safely.

‘There should be receptacle cans for cigarettes too because if you put them in the regular trash cans, the trash could catch fire,’ Dhingra said.

He and his mom, Mina Sharma, started going out once a week on the beach near their apartment and picking up butts for an hour or more at a time.

But when he kept noticing them, Dhingra decided just cleanup wasn’t enough. He wanted to call attention to the issue. So, the then third-grade student penned an op-ed for a local newspaper…

He also created a presentation, which he showcased at his elementary school for the teachers and students.

During the 2022 legislative session, Republican State Sen. Joe Gruter introduced a bill that would allow counties and municipalities to establish bans on smoking in both state parks and on public beaches, which was signed into law and will go into effect on July 1.”

— By Will Robinson-Smith Brevard County, Orlando News 13

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Clearwater’s Big Cleanup Event – Thousands picked up litter “Hoping to inspire new habits”

Clearwater’s Big Cleanup Event – Thousands picked up litter “Hoping to inspire new habits”

Photo: John Pendygraft, Tampa Bay Times

“Earlier this year, Sheri Heilman knew she wasn’t the only one fed up with the litter strewn on Clearwater Beach’s famous sugar sand and the bottles and wrappers stuck in storm drains.

In April, business owners and community leaders spent nearly all of a two-hour meeting that was supposed to be about general beach issues talking about the trash problem.

Over the next few months, Heilman and other stakeholders came up with a plan to send a message to all of Tampa Bay to get serious about the litter that strangles wildlife, fouls waterways and erodes general decency.

Throughout this week, about 1,500 volunteers and 50 businesses and organizations are estimated to have participated in The Big Cleanup, said to be the largest community-wide litter effort in city history. Organized by the Ocean Allies nonprofit founded by Heilman, Keep Pinellas Beautiful, Amplify Clearwater and other groups, the goal is for visibility of the six-day event to initiate a culture shift.

‘We hope that this is going to be just the start of the conversation and that this conversation continues into a lifestyle change,’ said Heilman, who also owns Bob Heilman’s Beachcomber restaurant on Clearwater Beach…

Heilman said The Big Cleanup reflects the education about avoidable waste that Ocean Allies has been trying to spread to businesses in Clearwater. Formed in 2018, Ocean Allies certifies businesses as ocean friendly if they meet certain criteria, like banning single-use plastics and foam, enforcing recycling, and other standards.

So far about 40 restaurants, vendors, salons, hotels and other businesses have been certified, according to the Ocean Allies website.

The Big Cleanup stopped calling for volunteers this week because of the massive response, but Heilman said she hopes residents carry on the spirit of the event every day in their own lives.”

— John Pendygraft, Tampa Bay Times

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“Friends of A1A launch campaign to fight litter: ‘Pack It In, Pack It Out’ “

“Friends of A1A launch campaign to fight litter: ‘Pack It In, Pack It Out’ “

“The Friends of A1A Scenic & Historic Coastal Byway announced the program ‘Be a Byway Sea Star – Pack It In, Pack It Out’ launching on June 1.

The first pilot program location will be at the River to Sea Preserve along SR A1A, where trash receptacles will be removed from public spaces and visitors will be encouraged to leave no trace by taking their trash with them.

Based on the seven principles of the ‘Leave No Trace’ program used by agencies such as the U.S. National Park Service and municipalities across the nation, the Friends of A1A are aiming to reduce litter along the A1A Scenic Byway coastal corridor’s beaches and waterways…

The program is funded by the Friends of A1A Scenic & Historic Coastal Byway and in part through a competitive grant provided by the Community Foundation of Northeast Florida…

Visit https://scenica1a.org/pack-it-in/ for more details.”

— Danielle Anderson, Palm Coast Observer
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