Removing 20 bags of trash from the mangroves at the on Tuesday morning proved to be a sweaty endeavor.
As the official sponsor of the Clearwater Beach Recreation Center complex, Clearwater Patch is helping to keep it clean.
So when we got word of all the trash and debris that Tropical Storm Debby washed ashore there, my colleagues — Editors from Palm Harbor Patch, from Dunedin Patch, from Largo Patch, Assistant Local Editor and Assistant Regional Editor — and I agreed to join forces and embark upon a quest to clean it up.
When we arrived early Tuesday morning, JP Atherholt, Clearwater Beach recreation supervisor, greeted us and explained our task: rising tides and heavy rainfall from Tropical Storm Debby pushed additional trash into the mangroves and along the shore.
We had three hours to fill as many trash bags and remove as much debris as we could. So we moved swiftly on the south shore, from the pool area to the recreation complex, making sure to drink plenty of water, wear sunscreen and gloves. The city provided long reach pick up grippers, two types of gloves, trash bags and the pool to jump in when we finished.
At the end of three hours, we filled 20 bags of trash with bottles, plastic bags, cans, styrofoam and some other odd items including:
- 1 rollerblade
- 1 toy stroller
- 1 fishing pole
- 1 fully functional GPS
- 2 blankets
- 1 bicycle wheel
- 1 hypodermic needle
- 2 sets of Christmas lights
- 1 Santa hat
- 2 pair of underwear
- 1 piece of terracotta sewer pipe
- numerous pieces of driftwood, plywood and PVC pipe