Sarasota Bay Watch Annual Sister Keys Cleanup

Sarasota Bay Watch sponsored its 5th Annual Sister Keys Cleanup on May 11th. A misty sunrise over Sarasota greeted 75 volunteers who came out to spend the morning removing trash to help restore and protect the Sister Keys. Kudos to all of our community volunteers!

Thank you also goes out to Mar Vista Restaurant for hosting the event and providing lunch for everyone; Anna Maria Island Water Shuttle who provided water taxi service from Longboat Key to the waterway islands; Anna Maria Island Sun for providing volunteers with T-shirts and NAUI (National Association of Underwater Instructors, who provided financial support. The Town of Longboat Key provided personnel to designate trails and organize removal of the collected trash while the Marine Police helped with water safety and boat traffic control.

Together we did a great job and had lots of fun doing it! By lunchtime we had filled a dump truck with lumber, plastics, a foam mattress, tent, and sleeping bag, as well as plastic chairs, cans, construction materials and more, that had been left behind by people or washed up into the mangrove tree fringes around the islands. Town of Longboat Key officials estimated the haul to be between 1 and 2 tons of debris – that is 25 to 50 pounds collected per volunteer!

The Sister Keys Cleanup is a great Sarasota tradition for a great cause.

By Larry Stults
Board President Sarasota Bay Watch

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