This weekend will mark St. Johns County’s turn to get involved in the Great St. Johns River Cleanup initiative on March 26.
Through a collaboration nearly 50 cleanups will be organized in St. Johns, Duval, Putnam, Seminole and Volusia Counties, in which the St. Johns RIVERKEEPER is a partner and beneficiary of this year’s efforts.
According to the St. Johns RIVERKEEPER, the St. Johns River is the longest river in Florida, stretching 310 miles north from its headwaters at Blue Cypress Lake in Indian River County to its mouth, where it empties into the Atlantic Ocean in Duval County. The river’s watershed covers nearly 9,000 square miles.
The goal of the collaboration is to increase awareness and participation of the cleanups and the importance of keeping local waterways clean, while also hoping to get as much trash out of the St. Johns River and its tributaries as possible.
The St. Johns River is something that connects each of the five counties taking part, which makes it only fitting that they were able to collaborate for such a cause.
“St. Johns RIVERKEEPER is excited to launch the Great St. Johns River Cleanup with our county and business partners to coordinate and expand our cleanup efforts and make an even greater impact this year and into the future,” said Meredith Jespersen, development director for St. Johns RIVERKEEPER. “We are beyond grateful to the Bronco Wild Fund for making this work possible.”
Included in its partnership with the effort, Bronco Wild Fund and local Ford dealers are presenting each participant a chance to win $1,000 if they share their cleanup experience on social media.
Anyone taking part can post a photo along with #StJohnsRiverCleanUp and tag @sjriverkeeperand @yoursfd to be entered into the contest.
One of the unique cleanups being offered in St. Johns County is being offered by Earth Kinship Kayak Tours & Nature Education.
The outfit will be offering a kayak tour and cleanup of Deep Creek from 9 to 11 a.m. March 26.
Volunteers can find event dates and available cleanup locations for each county involved by going to stjohnsrivercleanup.com.
New locations will continue to be added to the website’s page and each county's individual website as the events approach.
However, even if the dates or sites do not work with someone’s schedule this weekend, there are still plenty of ways that residents can get involved and make a difference.
According to the St. Johns RIVERKEEPER, picking up trash in their own neighborhood or at a local park are other ways that a person can help the cause, and it is something that can be at any time and every day of the year.