From fishing line to tires, trash in our waterways often ends up in those hard-to-reach places along shorelines, places only accessible by water. That’s why the Weeks Bay Foundation is hosting its 4th annual spring cleaning on the water, also known as the Floating Cleanup, on Saturday, February 15, at the mouth of Weeks Bay.
Co-sponsored by the Thompson Engineering Eco-Team and JubileeScape, the Floating Cleanup will have volunteers working from 9 a.m. – 12 p.m., cleaning up along the southern portion of Weeks Bay, at the entrance to Mobile Bay. Volunteers will meet at the Pelican Point/Big Mouth boat ramp (end of County Road 1) in Baldwin County.
The Foundation will provide nitrile gloves and trash bags. Volunteers should bring canoes, kayaks, and paddle boards. For volunteers who don’t have water vessels or who prefer to stay on the land, there will also be trash pick-up along County Road 1 and along the shorelines surrounding the parking lot and boat ramp.
past three years, at least 50 volunteers picked up more than 1,000 pounds of
trash. Thompson Engineering shuttles paddlers and their boats upstream in a
project barge, which will then act as a “floating dumpster” so
paddlers can bring items to the barge rather than paddling back to the boat
ramp. JubileeScape brings their crew members to volunteer and provides the
truck and manpower to haul the trash away.
“We could not do this without our corporate sponsors,” Connie Whitaker said. “This is a great partnership, and it benefits all of us. The cleanup is a wonderful opportunity to get out on the water, meet new people, and help clean up our amazing waterways. As spring approaches, Weeks Bay and Mobile Bay will begin to see a lot more recreational use, so this is the time to take advantage of quieter days and get in to those hard-to-reach shoreline spots where the trash accumulates.”
In previous years, Whitaker said, the volunteers picked up everything from plastic bottles and fishing line, to old tires and coolers. “These are things that could be dangerous to boaters and swimmers, and to fish and wildlife as well,” she said.
Paddlers should bring their own boat (canoe, kayak or stand up paddle board), life jacket and paddle. Trash bags and nitrile gloves will be provided, but participants may want to bring heavy-duty leather gloves.