DEP's Florida State Parks Celebrate International Coastal Cleanup Day and National Public Lands Day

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DEP's Florida State Parks Celebrate International Coastal Cleanup Day and National Public Lands Day

~Nearly 4,000 volunteers attended statewide cleanup events~



TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – In celebration of International Coastal Cleanup Day, Sept. 15, and National Public Lands Day, Sept. 22, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection's Florida Park Service hosted 113 statewide volunteer events — resulting in the collection of more than 13,700 pounds of litter. 

Nearly 4,000 volunteers participated in events including beach and trail cleanups, invasive plant removals, native plantings, and informational sessions, which were offered throughout the week to promote volunteerism and encourage the preservation of Florida’s natural resources. Volunteers donated a total of 16,329 hours, valued at $360,780.

“People make the parks, and this was demonstrated when so many people showed up to help restore park habitats,” said Florida State Parks Director Eric Draper. “We thank the many dedicated volunteers who came out for International Coastal Cleanup and National Public Lands Day to give back to Florida State Parks.”

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, often working side-by-side with staff to engage with the community, conduct stewardship projects and help maintain natural areas. More than 14,400 state park volunteers and 80 Friends groups, or citizen support organizations contribute over 1.2 million hours of service annually.