Earth Day cleanups planned for Okaloosa Island, Destin and Miramar Beach
About a dozen organizations are joining forces to host Earth Day beach cleanup events across Okaloosa and Walton counties.
The free events will take place from 8-10 a.m. Saturday. Registration is available by searching "Earth Day Beach Cleanup" at eventbite.com.
There are four events listed on Eventbrite encompassing seven parks and beaches:
Newman C. Brackin Wayside Park
The Boardwalk on Okaloosa Island in collaboration with Okaloosa County, the Destin-Fort Walton Beach Tourist Development Department and the Emerald Coast Wildlife Refuge will host this annual Earth Day beach cleanup event.
Check-in will begin at 8 a.m. at The Boardwalk on Okaloosa Island, 1450 Miracle Strip Parkway, on the bottom floor under The Crab Trap on the beach side.
Following the beach cleanup, The Crab Trap will provide a complimentary pancake breakfast from 9-10 a.m. Breakfast is limited to the first 300 volunteers. Breakfast tickets will be given to those who have pre-registered through Eventbrite.
Yellow River cleanup:Crestview community rallies to clean up swimming, fishing hole on Yellow River
Shalimar Bridge cleanup:With Shalimar Bridge overrun with trash, Fort Walton Beach man organizes cleanup effort
Another Earth Day event: :Earth Day: Help with Longleaf restoration at Deer Lake State Park
The Surf Hut in Miramar Beach is hosting its cleanup event in collaboration with Visit South Walton, Okaloosa County, the Tourist Development Department and the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences.
Check-in will begin at 8 a.m. at The Surf Hut at 551 Scenic Gulf Drive, Destin.
The Surf Hut will provide a complimentary pancake breakfast from 9-10 a.m. Breakfast is limited to the first 75 volunteers. Breakfast tickets will be given to those who have pre-registered through Eventbrite.
Henderson Beach State Park and James Lee Park
The Crab Trap, Destin, and Henderson Beach State Park are a pair of beach cleanups at two locations.
Check-in will begin at 8 a.m. at both The Crab Trap Destin, 3500 Scenic Highway 98 E., and at Henderson Beach State Park, 17000 Emerald Coast Parkway.
Because of space restrictions, there are only 75 registration slots available at each location. The Crab Trap will provide a complimentary pancake breakfast for cleanup volunteers at both locations from 9-10 a.m.
Norriego Point and Mattie Kelly Park Joe's Bayou
Wet Inc. and the Choctawhatchee Basin Alliance, in collaboration with Okaloosa County, the Okaloosa County Tourist Development Department and the city of Destin, will host these cleanup events.
Check-in for both events will begin at 8 a.m. Check-in for the Norriego Point event will be at 1 Gulf Shore Drive in Destin. This is a paddle-only event.
Check-in for the Joe's Bayou and Mattie Kelly Park events will be at 800 Park Drive and 825 Park Drive, respectively.
What to bring to the cleanup
All the events are free and family friendly. Free T-shirts will be provided. A limited quantity is available, and priority will be given to those who have pre-registered through Eventbrite. Any remaining shirts will be available on a first-come, first-served basis on event day. Prizes will be awarded for the most cigarette butts collected.
Attendees are encouraged to help reduce additional waste by bringing cleanup equipment such as a bucket or mesh bag for debris and reusable hand gloves, garden gloves or trash pickers.
Volunteers also are urged to bring a reusable water bottle, sunscreen and sunglasses. Water dispensers and hand sanitizers will be available.
The groups who are partnering in the cleanups include the Destin-Fort Walton Florida Convention and Visitor's Bureau, Visit South Walton, the City of Destin, the Ocean Conservancy, Florida State Parks, The Boardwalk, The Crab Trap, Saltwater Restaurants Inc., Florida Sea Grant, Choctawhatchee Basin Alliance, WET Inc. and the Emerald Coast Wildlife Refuge.
Breakfast is sponsored by S.E.A., a Saltwater Restaurant initiative that helps support programs that protect and preserve beaches.