National Cleanup Day is Saturday, September 18. Sarasota county parks and beaches are hosting community cleanups to celebrate.

Image: Shutterstock

Saturday, September 18 is National Cleanup Day, and in celebration, Sarasota County has partnered with the Ocean Conservancy Initiative for its International Coastal CleanUp.

The International Coastal Cleanup was founded in 1986 by the conservancy, which aims to protect the world's oceans with science-based solutions that will aid wildlife and communities that depends on them. In 2016, more than 18 million lbs. of trash was collected by almost 500,000 volunteers as part of the worldwide cleanup.

Since 1987, Sarasota volunteers have participated in community cleanups as part of the "Keep Sarasota County Beautiful" program, whose goal is to keep the region litter-free and improve overall health of the local environment.

More than 700 volunteers are expected to participate this year to help remove litter, waste and invasive plants at local parks and beachfronts. Cleanups will run from 8-10 a.m. Some locations will involve wading, kayaking or canoeing into creeks to remove litter. Supplies like trash bags, trash pickers, buckets and gloves will be provided.

Oscar Scherer State Park is one of the locations volunteers can clean up at on Saturday.

Volunteers can choose the location where they wish to volunteer. North County locations include Newtown, Vamo Drive Park, Lime Lake Park, the North Beneva Water Goat, Potter Park and Matheneys Water Goats.

South County locations include Venice's Alligator Creek Conservation and Recreation Area, Caspersen Beach Waterway, Oscar Scherer State Park, North Jetty Park, Blind Pass Beach, Lemon Bay Park and Manasota Beach Park in Englewood.

Trash collected on Siesta Beach at 2019's World Ocean Day cleanup.

Image: Newswire.com

All volunteers must register for the event by 12 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 15. To register, click here; registration is free. The first 700 volunteers to register will qualify for first dibs on this year's commemorative T-shirt.

Volunteers are encouraged to take the following Covid-19 safety precautions: pre-event health monitoring, social distancing, wearing provided gloves, properly hand washing post-event and wearing a mask.

For more information about the International Coastal Cleanup in Sarasota County, click here, or call (941) 861-5000.

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