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CCA Florida members and volunteers unite for a good cause.

by: Dale Daugherty 5/17/2017
 

Itís unlike most tournaments, and at the 2017 Trash Tour, participants are walking away with prizes and that good feeling you get when you help make a difference in the community.  The CCA Florida 2017 Trash Tour was established with amazing partners including Swamp Head Brewery and Hellís Bay Boatworks to encourage anglers and residents from several coastal counties to join together to clean up our stateís waters through friendly competition.

 

The Trash Tour kicked off in March in the quaint Gulf Coast town of Cedar Key, which was hit hard by Hurricane Hermine in 2016.  Over 100 volunteers from the area, and as far away as Orlando, Tampa, Gainesville, and Louisiana collected trash by boat, kayak, canoe, on foot, by car and even on bikes.  The U.S. Coast Guard sent nine crewmen from Yankeetown and NOAAís Navigational Manager made the trip all the way from Louisiana to help, as did representatives from the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.  Associates from the University of Florida IFAS Nature Coast Biological Station also volunteered.  In all, two industrial-sized dumpsters were filled by noon, with recyclable items separated.  The beautiful city of Cedar Key remains a hidden gem on Floridaís Gulf Coast.

 

Another 80 volunteers came out to Titusville on Earth Day in April for the second stop of the Trash Tour.  Volunteers collected over two tons of trash and marine debris which would have otherwise remained in our waterways, harming marine life, threatening habitats and damaging natural resources.  In addition to the typical debris one would expect to find in the water, participants also brought in strange items such as an eighteen-foot utility pole and an abandoned freezer.  Participants included families, friends and individuals, all with the shared goal of cleaning their communityís waterways.

 

In both locations, the cleanup was followed by a complimentary lunch and raffle prizes, networking and lots of fun for participants, sponsors, vendors and CCA staff.

 

Because, like our members and advocates, conservation is important to us, we are working with Costa for the Costa Kick Plastic initiative, which is a focus of the Trash Tour promotion.  Designed to bring awareness to the use of plastic bottles in everyday life, the Costa Kick Plastic initiative helps to encourage conservation.  Costa was kind enough to provide reusable water bottles in Trash Tour gift bags as an easy way to eliminate the need for plastic bottles.

 

In addition to our title sponsors Swamp Head Brewery and Hellís Bay Boatworks, we are grateful to our additional partners Academy Sports + Outdoors, Drummond Community Bank, Waste Pro, Hydroflask, Fish Explorer (www.fishexplorer.com/fl), and Boxed Water.  Local partners have included Sonnyís Barbecue, Brevard County, the Cedar Cove Hotel and Steamers Clam Bar & Grille.  Partnerships are critical to the success of our events and we thank them for their continued support.

 

For more information on upcoming Trash Tour stops, visit CCA Florida on Facebook.