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 3,700 volunteers attended statewide cleanup events~

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – In celebration of International Coastal Cleanup Day, Sept. 21, and National Public Lands Day, Sept. 28, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection's Florida Park Service hosted 88 statewide volunteer events.

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 11,442 hours, valued at $276,209.88.

"We’re so grateful for volunteer support. Their hard work helps keep beaches clean for nesting shorebirds and sea turtles, fight noxious invasive plants and improve trails so people have a place to be active," said Florida State Parks Director Eric Draper. "The great turnout at this year’s events show how much Floridians value their state parks and the natural and cultural resources they protect.”

Started by the Ocean Conservancy more than 30 years ago, International Coastal Cleanup Day pulls together more than 100 countries to participate 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 20,00 state park volunteers and 82 Friends groups, or citizen support organizations contribute over 1,196,748 million hours of service annually.