Ocean Hour Cleans Up While Taking Out the Trash
By Sara Richards
Ocean Hour is the world’s first international weekly cleanup and has partnered with Earth Ethics and the Pensacola Scenic Highway Foundation to help beautify Pensacola and maintain the home of locals and haven of tourists. Every Saturday from 9:00 to 10:00 a.m., at various spots volunteers are needed to pick up trash. Some of the locations include the Edward Ball Nature Trail at the University of West Florida, the Naval Live Oaks, the Gulf Island National Seashore, Ft. Pickens, Chimney Park and Bay Bluffs on Scenic Highway. Sign-in is at 8:45, and cleanup supplies are provided.
The organizers encourage volunteers to make it a tradition to invite kith and kin, have brunch afterwards, and take photos of collected trash to add to the digital scrapbook at www.facebook.com/oceanhour or one’s local chapter page www.facebook.com/oceanhourflorida. When Al Gore gave his TED talk on “An Inconvenient Truth” he incorporated the use of powerful images to inspire and relay his message of environmentalism and good stewardship applying the old adage, “One picture equals a thousand words”.
Everyone has a role in helping improve our scenic outlook and outdoor living space. Ocean Hour is largely helped by memberships and grants to continue their good work, and for students who have an interest in participating, there are many ways to do that—cleanup work is only a part of what Ocean Hour does. There is newsletter writing, helping with presentations such as set-up, Facebook page administration, general clean-up, clean-up site captain (the group is also happy to get input for new sites), and data collection (using Marine Debris Tracker app at clean-up during or after clean-up). What’s great about the organization is that just as there are different jobs for different interests and personalities, there are different locations for the sake of convenience.
Now that the humidity has dropped, it’s a great time to start before things really heat up again. At Chimney Park, located a mere seven minutes from the campus, orange butterflies dot the grass like animated flowers. The Chimney, though broken off at the top like an ancient chess piece, is still fairly intact. Becoming a member of the clean-up crew is a great way to get one’s daily dose of nature and paying it back for the quality it gives our lives.
Prevention coupled with cure will make an incredible impact. On October 8th of last year, 128 pounds of trash were given the boot, and everyday things like simply throwing away your trash in a proper receptacle helps preserve the Deep South that is home and haven not just to human life, but wildlife, as well.
More information about Ocean Hour and how one can pitch in can be found on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/oceanhourfl/.