Coastal Cleanup Efforts in Wakulla County

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It may be hard to imagine, but 5780 pounds of debris and garbage was collected from area waterways and shoreline in one day.

"The Wakulla Dive Team picked up car parts, batteries, bottles ... things that people improperly dispose of," said Joanne Palmer, Director of Keep Wakulla County Beautiful.

642 people joined forces with Keep Wakulla County Beautiful as part of the annual Coastal Cleanup. Volunteers came from all over the Big Bend.

"This year we focused on the Wakulla River, Mashes Sands, the Ochlockonee Bay, Bottom's Road, Shell point. and the St. Mark's Wildlife Refuge," said Palmer.

The owners of Gulf Specimen Marine Lab in Panacea say it's not just about keeping the beaches looking beautiful. Keeping the shoreline and waterways clean is vital for area wildlife.

"Seagulls can get trash and debris like coke can holsters caught around their neck, and turtles you know, they come up to nest on the beach and there's a big piece of two by four sitting there and they can't dig the holes to lay their eggs," said Cypress Rudloe, manager of the Gulf Specimen Marine Laboratory.

The beaches are spotless now, but volunteers say everyone needs to do their part to keep them this way.

"It's their homes. You wouldn't want someone coming in and dumping all their trash into your bed. Try and remember that next time you're out there," said Rudloe.

For information on how you can help keep the coast pristine, visit

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