By: Rachel Gonzalez | Contributing Writer
Dark cloudy skies, powerful wind gusts, and the promise of rain served as the back-drop for Alabama’s 32nd Annual Coastal Clean-up on Saturday, Sept. 21. The event ran from 8 a.m.-12 p.m.
The purpose of the event was to collect as much trash as possible and make our coastlines clean again. Those who participated in the event did an outstanding job at meeting the clean-up’s goal of making our beaches both beautiful and safe for the various wildlife that calls the Gulf of Mexico home.
The event takes place internationally and has been running for 32 years in the state of Alabama. Kelly Reetz, with the Gulf State Park, stated the motive behind the yearly event.
“Our goal is to encourage people to be good stewards and to get out there and get trash out of our coastal environments, whether it’s beaches, estuaries, rivers, and streams,” said Reetz.
Despite the stormy weather, the turn-out was great. There were volunteers from various organizations, tourists, and students wearing USA t-shirts representing the Jaguars. Even the local Boy Scouts troop was out at Mo’s Landing in Fort Morgan in their kayaks.
“All of our coastal shoreline is participating,” Reetz added. “They are recycling plastic bottles and aluminum cans this year.”
There are clean-up zones in all of Mobile and Baldwin county, and they plan to continue running this event in the years to come.
“It makes you feel really, really good because you know you are out there actually making a difference,” said Johanna Gertsch, one of the volunteers running the event.
In a time where climate change and the environment are of significant importance, events like these are surely worth partaking in, rain or shine.