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Annual Coastal Cleanup set to pick up in September

The 36th Annual Alabama Coastal Cleanup is fast approaching and if you like to be outdoors and at the same time help your community this event may be for you.

The event is 8 a.m. to noon Sept. 16 for Baldwin and Mobile counties. Volunteers will collect debris and record the amount and types that are recovered. This helps to better understand the issue of marine debris how to help prevent it.

“Volunteers are the backbone of this event,” said Chris Blankenship, commissioner of the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. “Over the years, they have served as good stewards of our coastal waters and shorelines.

“Without them, Alabama’s Coastal Cleanup would not be possible.”

The partnership for the event between the department and an anti-littering group was also praised.

“This event demonstrates what can be accomplished long term when state agencies, business, industry, coordinators and volunteers come together for a common mission greater than themselves,” said Spencer Ryan, executive director for Alabama People Against a Littered State. “It truly is a remarkable partnership.”

Volunteers are needed for 28 cleanup zones in Mobile and Baldwin counties. Zone coordinators will distribute trash grabbers, large trash bags, recycling bags, gloves and other cleanup supplies to participants. There is a limited number of t-shirts, Scout badges and window decals available.

Alabama’s Coastal Cleanup is part of the International Coastal Cleanup, an effort to remove marine debris from coastal waters around the world. The event is coordinated by the Conservation Department’s State Lands Division and Alabama People Against a Littered State.

Since 1987, more than108,000 volunteers have taken part in the Alabama Coastal Cleanup and removed more than 875 tons of debris from beaches, roadways, bayous, backwater and other coastal areas.

Austen Shipley is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News.

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