International Coastal Clean-up Sweeps Bay County - WMBB News 13 - The Panhandle's News Leader

International Coastal Clean-up Sweeps Bay County

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The coastlines in the St. Andrew's area and Millville are a little bit more beautiful, Saturday, after International Coastal Clean-up day.

Volunteers from around the community worked for most of the morning..  To collect the trash that doesn't belong.

"People don't realize how many people live and work around the water here," said Stan Jones, Marina Director, for the City of Panama City.  "If it's polluted, It leaves us no future."

With trash bags and gloves in-hand, volunteers set out to clean-up the coast.

"Community service is really important and if everybody would give a little bit of time, we would have a beautiful clean beach," said Martha Finch, Volunteer.

"The water is vital to St. Andrews and to Bay County; it's the way we make our living," said Chris Godwin, Volunteer.  "Its here for anyone to enjoy we spend a lot of time on the water and we just want to make it a better place to be."

The Ocean Conservancy hosts this event every year, internationally. 97 countries participate.

When the trash is brought back to shore, it gets categorized by size weight and contents. The data helps determine pollution sources and reduce the impact.

In 2012, 10 million pounds of trash was picked up by 500,000 volunteers.

"It's unfortunate but you know all of the street drains, drain out to our bay," said Jones. "If someone throws a bottle out on 23rd street, it's eventually going to end up in the water out here. So it's really up to us to police our community and pick it up."

Lawn furniture, tires, and boat seats were among the countless plastic bottles and cans, found in the water.   

"There's places all along the coast that you can do it," said Godwin. "If you just want to do it on your own.. do it any time, just grab a bag and pick up trash.

"What a great way to get out with fun like-minded people and pick up our home water," said Jones.

More than two hundred pounds of trash were picked up in Bay County.