Did you know 8 million metric tons of plastic enters our ocean each year? As surfers and water lovers, the ocean is our playground and it’s our responsibility to advocate for the places we love, and where better to do that than right in our own backyard! The Surf Stop teamed up with our friends over at Hennessy Events to host a Community Beach Clean Up and Sunday Funday.
What is a Beach Clean Up?
A beach clean up is essentially a volunteer activity among concerned community members that want to do good for their local beaches and take place along coastlines around the world. People show up and blow up collecting beach trash to make the beach a nicer, safer and happier place for everyone. Cleaning the beach also improves the coastal and ocean ecosystem by making sure that none of the trash kills marine life or disrupt the marine life cycle. Even though there's all sorts of debris pollutions- micro plastic seems to be the worst on the NE FL coast.
How do Beach Clean-ups Help?
Think of the beach as a bridge between the land and marine environment. It’s a critical biodiversity area. Cleaning our beaches is a step towards cleaning our oceans. A clean beach is a happy ocean and proud Mama Earth.
Beach clean-ups are also a great learning opportunity for the community. There’s a huge difference between seeing photos of plastic pollution online and on the socials than witnessing it on an actual beach. It makes one think about the impact of the non-biodegradable stuff that we are using and how it’s affecting the environment. REFUSE-REDUCE-REUSE-RECYLE and think twice about accepting that single use plastic...
We all met up at the WSMS Surf Stop at 9am and started the morning off with some coffee and baked goodies supplied by the Kookabura.
Once everyone was properly caffeinated and fed we armed each beach cleaner with either a Community Clean Up Bucket (see below for more details) or an eco-friendly/biodegradable bag and gloves made of corn starch and it was off to the beach...
After everyone was back to the shop, we topped off the morning with a little Sunday Funday!
Music, drinks and good conversation.
It was alarming how much plastic, especially micro-plastic, is actually on our beach. As a group we picked up more than 40lbs of trash in about an hour span stretching from F street to A street. Most people consider St. Augustine beach to be very clean but the micro-plastics get so concentrated in the beach vegetation that it is often over looked...but it's there. We are so thankful for our STA community and for everyone who came out and helped make our beaches feel a little cleaner. Stay tuned for our next Clean Up! Into the new year we will be hosting a monthly community clean up.
Here's a little vlog recap by our friend Michael (workforavocados)
The WSMS Surf Stop is all about community! Community promotes unity and we encourage our community to keep your eye out for all the micro plastic that pollutes our beaches. Did you know you can come pick up a Community Clean Up Bucket from the shop, take it down to the beach and fill it up with trash, bring it back to the shop and trade it in for a 15% off discount card?! The buckets are available for pick up all day everyday so we can work together to help keep our beautiful beaches clean. Then exit through the positive portal and help spread the community love!
As surfers, we’ve seen more than our share of trash littering the beaches. Taking responsibility for our own plastic trash is already a step in the right direction. Becoming mindful of how we use and dispose things is one way that we can start making this world and our oceans better for the next generation. Life’s a beach, so they say. But don’t you think it’s time to amend it to “Life’s a clean beach.”? I certainly think so.