Volunteers Needed for Coastal Clean Up Saturday - WMBB News 13 - The Panhandle's News Leader

Volunteers Needed for Coastal Clean Up Saturday

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More than 500,000 volunteers picked up more than 10 million pounds of trash all over the world in last years International Coastal Clean up. But, those leading the charge this year in Bay County need your help.

If your passing over Massalina bridge many do not realize they're driving over more than just water.

"This is the reason we are doing this," said Stan Jones from Panama City Marina.

Jones is rallying the troops armed with trash bags and gloves to help with this years clean up.

"We all live and work around the water," said Jones. "We are called Bay county, so this is unacceptable and we are just going to be the ones who take care of it."

One effort lead last year by St. Andrew Bay Resource Management Association picked up more than 500 pounds of trash.

"There's nothing worse than paddling along and seeing garbage floating in the water," said Brad Stephens of Sunjammers Watersports.

Stephens knows the importance of keeping the waters clean.

"Our waters here are a big economic engine for our community," said Stephens. "So, the cleaner our water is the more abundant everything is going to be for us. Everybody here lives off the water whether they realize it or not."

This year, Sunjammers is acting as a hub for those looking for when and how to participate.

"They'll be people in kayaks and paddle boards," said Stephens. "The kayak association has got a fishing trip planned for the gulf and they are all going to try and see who can pick up the most garbage while they are out picking up fresh mackerel as well."

"They are rallying their kayakers that are going to help us get into areas that people can't wade in like the bayous and what not," said Jones. "Where it's just not really safe or practical to wade around and pick up trash."

Areas like Massalina are seeing their fare share of trash building up.

"So, this is a chance for us to band together as a community and pick up our home waters," said Jones.  

"If they can get 100 people to show up I think that will be a massive success for everybody," said Stephens.  

In Panama City Stan Jones is directing people to meet at 8 am Saturday morning at St. Andrews Marina or Waterfront Park in Millville. 

For the Official International Coastal Cleanup Web site click HERE.