Marine Club participates in Hillsborough River cleanup

Audrey Taylor, Staffer

Marine Club coordinated a site for the Hillsborough River and Coastal Cleanup and had students participate in cleaning the Riverwalk Sept. 21. 

The cleanups were hosted throughout Tampa and along the Hillsborough river through Keep Tampa Bay Beautiful. Marine club’s site was along the Riverwalk downtown. At the cleanup, students formed groups and set out to collect trash along the bay. 

“This is where everyone lives, its not just me,” club president Mary Lynn said. “We have to help everyone else and in order to do that we have to clean up our environment.” 

Students walked along the Riverwalk, climbing over rocks and through trees to collect trash that had been left by walkers or washed up from the ocean. All the trash collected was recorded on a cleanup log. Freshman Lola Lenard attended the cleanup. 

“It helps make sure nothing gets into the water and pollutes everything else,” Lenard said. “If it does, it would be a lot harder to get it than if we had the time to do it now.” 

Some students used kayaks to collect trash that was floating in the ocean before it could wash up on shore. The Marine club sponsor and marine science teacher Andria Keene attended and helped out with the cleanup. 

“It was beautiful today, the weather was perfect, the sun was perfect, and we even saw dolphins,” Keene said. “I liked that the kids had fun doing something good for the environment.” 

In 2018, the coastal cleanup collected 78,875 pounds of trash from the waterways. Multiple clubs around the city organized individual cleanups around the city. 

“We have to help Mother Earth and I’m trying to do my part,” sophomore Nickolas Chae said. “I want to see a good future in the chaos, so I’m happy to help.” 

Marine club plans to participate in future cleanups including Keep Tampa Bay Beautiful’s Great American Cleanup. 

“It makes a huge difference,” junior Cameron Summitt said. “If someone sees one person doing itthen a lot of people will join in.