DEP’s Northwest District and Aquatic Preserves Host Shoreline Cleanup in Celebration of Earth Day

nwd-earth-day-2_cropThe Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s Northwest District and Northwest Florida Aquatic Preserves hosted a shoreline cleanup at “Project GreenShores” in celebration of Earth Day. More than 60 volunteers collected 39 bags of trash during the three hour event.

“Earth Day is a reminder that the natural resources we sometimes take for granted are not infinite, and withoutprotection they can become polluted or be depleted. There are easy actions each of us can take to make sustainable practices part of our daily lives,”said Shawn Hamilton, director of DEP’s Northwest District. “Our goal today is to highlight those easy actions so everyone can make informed decisions about the simple choices they make every day that impact our environment.”

The department promotes environmental protection through regulatory consistency, accountability and partnerships in support of a growing economy and healthy community. The shoreline cleanup event provided an opportunity for the department to promote green actions and to increase community awareness to the department’s mission and environmental priorities.

Community members working in the downtown area were invited to participate by dedicating their lunch hour to the shoreline cleanup. One local company took the opportunity to encourage their employees to get involved. More than 35 Gulf Power Company employees volunteered and spent their lunch hours cleaning trash from the shoreline.

Project GreenShores” is a habitat restoration and creation project located in Downtown Pensacola along the urban shoreline of Pensacola Bay. This habitat restoration effort partners DEP with the City of Pensacola, Escambia County, the Ecosystem Restoration Support Organization, the EPA Gulf of Mexico Program, the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, NOAA, Gulf Power, local agencies, businesses, and volunteers in a community-based effort to restore oyster reef, salt marsh and seagrass habitat within the Pensacola Bay System. Restoring the Pensacola Bay estuary to its historic state stabilizes shorelines and provides essential habitat for wildlife and conservation.

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