A small group of local business men and women came to RSMAS on April 4 to perform their yearly community service day under the leadership of Laura Bracken.Their first endeavor was cleaning up the RSMAS beach.The weather was already warm at 10:00 a.m. when we started walking toward the dock but there was a slight breeze. The water was crystal clear and the tide looked just right.
At first sight, the beach didn’t seem very dirty and I didn’t think it would take the two hours allocated to clean it. Armed with gloves and trash bags, we walked slowly, looking for trash. It didn’t take long to spot the first beer bottles and plastic bags. Some of the trash was hidden behind bushes or under the Bear Cut’s bridge. Among the trash we found were fishing lines, shoes, socks and several pieces of what appeared to be broken stone crab traps. Surprisingly, we almost filled the dumpster.
After cleaning the beach, our guests took a break, had lunch, and listened to a lecture from Dr. Neil Hammerschlag about shark conservation. The rest of their day was spent across the street with the Virginia Key Beach Trust, removing exotic plants from their newly restored park.
"It was a fun, educational, and productive day and we look forward to having more events like this in the future," Laura said.
Baynanza is coming up on April 21st. I hope you will be there to ensure that our beach stays beautiful!