Florida Southern College was well represented on International Coastal Cleanup Day, Sept. 17, when nearly sixty FSC students got together to collect trash on the coast of Anna Maria Island.
Members of Tri-Rho (Florida Southern’s marine biology honor society), Flosoco (the campus conservation and sustainability club), and first year marine biology students worked together to clear around 7 miles of the coast. With coastal pollution being such a huge issue, the effort to keep the coast clean was a much needed one.
“It was a great feeling helping clean up some of the trash on our beaches,” said first year marine biology major Matthew Dubia. “It was great to get to know some more of the people in the major and spend time with members of Tri-Rho.”
The clean-up event was the first major trip Tri-Rho has been able to host since before the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It was so great to have everyone together after two long years,” said senior Abby Tarleton, the president of Tri-Rho. “We have the opportunity to connect not just Tri-Rho and Flosoco, but FSC students with the community. In the end, the event was a success.”
International Coastal Cleanup Day falls on the third Saturday in September every year. Started in 1986 by Linda Maraniss (Ocean Conservancy) and Kathy O’Hara (author of Plastics in the Ocean: More Than a Litter Problem), the day is designed to bring communities together with a common goal of collecting and documenting litter along the coastline.
Volunteers from states and territories throughout the United States and more than 150 countries come together annually to participate in cleanup events near them. Tri-Rho hopes to make International Coastal Cleanup Day an annual event for Florida Southern students. The organization wants to encourage even more students to get outside, pick up trash, and help the planet. Tri-Rho is appreciative of Dean Crawford from the Office of Student Development and the biology department for helping to make it possible for FSC students to participate in International Coastal Cleanup Day.