DEP Encourages Volunteerism in Celebration of International Coastal Cleanup Day and Public Lands Day

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DEP Encourages Volunteerism in Celebration of International Coastal Cleanup Day and Public Lands Day

~Volunteer events will be held statewide to preserve natural resources~

International Coastal Cleanup Day

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) is celebrating International Coastal Cleanup Day and National Public Lands Day by hosting statewide events at Florida’s state parks, aquatic preserves and National Estuarine Research Reserves -- promoting volunteerism and preserving Florida’s natural environment.

International Coastal Cleanup Day (Sept. 15) is the world’s largest volunteer effort to collect litter from coastlines. National Public Lands Day (Sept. 22) is the nation’s largest single-day volunteer event to support public lands. DEP is hosting more than 100 volunteer events statewide in recognition of these days.

“International Coastal Cleanup Day and National Public Lands Day are great ways to bring communities together to help us make an impact on our environment,” said DEP Secretary Noah Valenstein. “Hosting these events gives us the opportunity to educate the public about the importance of Florida’s environment and how we all have a role in protecting our natural resources.”

Started by the Ocean Conservancy more than 30 years ago, International Coastal Cleanup Day pulls together more than 100 countries to participate in the function each year. The National Environmental Education Foundation has coordinated National Public Lands Day for 25 years, encouraging outdoor enthusiasts to participate in festivities, provide assistance with trail maintenance and native plantings, collect litter from coastal areas, and give back to their favorite natural places.

Volunteers are critical to the mission of DEP’s Florida Park Service and Florida Coastal Office, often working side-by-side with staff to engage with the community, conduct stewardship projects and help maintain natural areas. Last year, a total of 262 volunteers devoted 3,989 hours to DEP's Florida Coastal Office, and more than 14,400 state park volunteers and 80 Friends groups, or citizen support organizations contribute over 1.2 million hours of service annually.

Learn more about these volunteer opportunities by visiting the Florida State Parks website.