by SC Reporter Reese Holiday
This year’s International Coastal Cleanup on Sanibel was held on Sep. 19 and featured mask wearing and social distancing due to the coronavirus pandemic. The cleanup isn’t exclusive to just Sanibel, however, and is held in communities across the globe.
Started over 30 years ago by the Ocean Conservancy, the International Coastal Cleanup is a worldwide event where citizens of coastal communities come together and help keep their beaches clean. For Sanibel, this year’s event had over 150 volunteers, according to Jeff Siwicke, the Events Manager for the Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation whose organization is in charge of Sanibel’s coastal cleanup efforts. To Siwicke, however, Sanibel beaches have always remained pristine, and the cleanup only typifies the community’s efforts.
“One of our problems with something like the coastal cleanup is that there’s not a ton of trash on Sanibel island because the community is out there picking it up on a daily basis,” Siwicke said. That’s kind of one of the challenging things about pulling this event off on Sanibel. There’s not a ton of trash and people really have to work hard to find it.”