Rotary Club of New Port Richey
Withlacoochee River Electric Cooperative, Inc.
Many things have changed due to COVID-19, unfortunately litter is still a problem that has increased due to the improper disposal of personal protection equipment. However, there are still people that want to help protect the environment during the uncertainty of these times - which is why we still had the Coastal Cleanup. The annual International Coastal Cleanup presented by the Rotary Club of New Port Richey and Withlacoochee River Electric Cooperative, Inc. was held throughout Pasco County on Saturday, September 19, 2020.
The main focus this year was on smaller cleanups. Volunteers were encouraged to find a public area in their community that needed to be cleaned and recruit a small number of volunteers to assist. We had more sites than ever before with 36 locations. There were 922 volunteers that worked for 3,248 hours picking up 19.52 tons of trash. The cost benefit of volunteer hours was $80,972.64.
This year, we were thrilled to partner with the Rotary District 6950 Foundation and local Rotary Clubs. The West Pasco Sunset Rotary Club was awarded a District Grant in the amount of $2,500 by the Rotary District 6950 Foundation to support their Coastal Cleanup 2020 project. District grants offer clubs and districts flexibility in carrying out activities supporting the Rotary International Foundation Mission. The Coastal Cleanup project also has the support of the Rotary Clubs of New Port Richey, Trinity and Dade City Sunrise.
The local cleanups, mobilized by Ocean Conservancy, are part of the largest worldwide volunteer effort on behalf of ocean health. The purpose is to clean up and track the trash collected. More than 8 million metric tons of plastic trash ends up in our oceans every year. Since 1986, the International Coastal Cleanup has captured more than 334 million pounds of trash with the efforts of over 16 million volunteers.
A huge thank you to all of our sponsors, we would not be able to do the cleanups without them. Through their sponsorship dollars we were able to supply volunteers with trash bags, gloves, face buffs, and trash pickers. The Surfing 's Evolution and Preservation Foundation supplied additional funds for reusable buckets so that less plastic was utilized.
The International Coastal Cleanup in Pasco County always takes place the third Saturday in September. Our next one will be September 18th, 2021.