Not everyday on the water is a fishing day. Sometimes you have to volunteer and pay it forward by doing your part to keep the environment clean and safe.
Since the start of the pandemic I have been volunteering at Biscayne National Park to participate in beach and shoreline cleanups.
Biscayne National Park, is more than 250 square miles of which 95% is water. The park includes coral reefs, mangrove forests and many many islands. Boating, fishing, kayaking diving and snorkeling are the reasons people come here. I go 20-30 times a year!
Unfortunately the main island, Elliot Key and the outer islands collect a lot of trash some from local boaters, some drift in from the ocean, but nonetheless thee trash is a safety hazard to the sea life in the bay, from turtles to manatees to fish and birds
Volunteering is easy and fun and includes a boat ride to one of the many islands in the park to help clean up collected trash that drifts in. When done we make a picnic on the beach and head back to the park’s visitor center by boat.
it’s a great half day out on the water, hiking the different islands and helping to keep the waters and the beaches clean.
Bagging the trash
Once the group arrived at Elliot Key, we collect our gear, and head out to the oceanside beaches of the island where most of the trash collects. We find rope, bottles, cans, food packages, boat parts, flip flops and all kinds of beer and alcohol bottles. All trash is bagged and collected and then brought back to the boat. Over 2 days the group collected several hundred pounds of trash which included a tangled mess of rope and fishing line which is very dangerous to marine animals, birds and fish.
For more information on how to volunteer at a national park visit National Park Service and find a park and look up volunteer opportunities.