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~Floridians can join international effort to clean up beaches on Saturday, Sept. 21~

Beach cleanup in 2011

Volunteers pick up litter along the beach in 2012.

TALLAHASSEE- The Florida Department of Environmental Protection's Florida Park Service, together with Florida’s Coastal Office invites citizens to volunteer in the 2013 International Coastal Cleanup on Saturday, Sept. 21.

The International Coastal Cleanup started 25 years ago by the Ocean Conservancy. In 2012, more than 500,000 volunteers participated in the removal of 10 million pounds of trash along the world's coasts. This year, Florida citizens have been challenged to pull together more volunteers and collect more trash. You can make a difference in our world and in our oceans simply by providing just a few hours of your day on Saturday, Sept. 21.

"International Coastal Cleanup Day is a worthy endeavor that stretches throughout all coastal areas of the state -- and the world -- in an effort to clean up and improve the environment for marine life, residents and visitors,” said DEP Secretary Herschel T. Vinyard Jr.

“The annual International Coastal Cleanup provides an opportunity for volunteers to help keep our beaches and coastal areas clean and free of pollution,” said Donald Forgione, Director of the Florida Park Service, "Volunteering in Florida's famous sunshine helps people connect with nature."

Discarded trash results in injuries and deaths to marine life, damage to plant life and hazards to human health. With this global event, attention is brought to all sites around the world and not just the most popular and most traveled.

Florida sites where you can make a difference are listed below:

Northwest Florida

Apalachicola National Estuarine Research Reserve,  Millendar Park in Eastpoint, 8:30 to 11:30 a.m.

Cleaning up the mainland side of Bay shoreline.

Bald Point State Park, Alligator Point, 8:30 to 11:30 a.m.

Picking up trash that has washed up along the shoreline along with old road/building remains.

Dr. Julian G. Bruce St. George Island State Park, St. George Island, 8:30 to 11:30 a.m.

Picking up litter along the bayside.

Edward Ball Wakulla Springs State Park, Wakulla Springs, 9 a.m. to noon

Cleaning up the adopted section road that borders the park and leads to the Wakulla River.

Grayton Beach State Park, Santa Rosa Beach, 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Cleaning up debris and trash from the maritime forest along the coast.

Henderson Beach State Park, Destin, 8 to 10 a.m.

Removing litter from our communities and beaches. Clearing trash from park and beach.

Perdido Key State Park, Pensacola, 8 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Removing trash and debris from the local beaches and sand dunes.

St. Andrews State Park, Panama City, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Cleaning up the gulf beaches, including Shell Island.

Northeast Region

Crystal River Preserve State Park, Crystal River, 8 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Participating in a large-scale marine debris cleanup.

GTM National Estuarine Research Reserve, Jacksonville, 8 to 11 a.m.

The event will take place simultaneously at the Environmental Education Center, 505 Guana River Road, Ponte Vedra Beach and the GTM Research Reserve Marineland Field Office, 9741 Ocean Shore Boulevard, Marineland.

Southwest Region

Delnor-Wiggins Pass State Park, Naples, 8 a.m. to 11 a.m.

Cleaning up at many different sites.

Hillsborough River State Park, Thonotasassa, 8 to 11 a.m.

Cleaning up the debris from the river and the trails.

Oscar Scherer State Park, Osprey, 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Use park canoes and kayaks to pick up trash around the mangrove estuary and along the creek.

Southeast Region

Avalon State Park, Fort Pierce, 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Cleaning up the park with gloves, trash bags, and pick-up sticks.

Biscayne Bay Aquatic Preserve, Pelican Harbor Marina, Miami, 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Rain or shine, help clean up the urban shoreline of Biscayne Bay.

Fort Pierce Inlet State Park, Fort Pierce, 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. 

Clearing the park from debris.

Hugh Taylor Birch State Park, Fort Lauderdale, 9 a.m.

Cleaning up the park’s shoreline.

John D. MacArthur Beach State Park, North Palm Beach, 8 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Cleaning up the beach.

Oleta River State Park, North Miami, All day

Participating in Miami-Dade County’s coastal cleanup.