1,500 bags of litter collected in St. Johns River cleanup

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - The official numbers are now in, and more than 1,100 volunteers collected about 1,500 bags of litter during The St. Johns River Celebration 18th Annual Cleanup on March 16.

The city's Keep Jacksonville Beautiful Commission, in partnership with the St. Johns Riverkeeper, invited the public to help remove litter from natural and urban areas across 50 Jacksonville area locations. Locations included the Northbank Riverwalk, Huguenot Memorial Park and the Hood Landing Boat Ramp.

The 1,183 volunteers logged 3,442 volunteer hours and collected more than 15 tons of marine and inland litter. Unusual debris collected ranged from a desk and shoes at Blue Cypress Park to a bicycle and the undercarriage of a car in the Riverside area. Volunteers also helped collect mattresses, a metal air duct, and 158 tires.

This year's annual cleanup celebration brought in more volunteers than past years. Those volunteers also collected more bags of litter than in 2012 and 2011.

Mayor Alvin Brown also assisted in the weekend cleanup by volunteering at the Northbank Riverwalk site.

"Every year, countless residents turn out for this annual event to show our community's dedication and commitment to one of our most treasured assets," Brown said. "The St. Johns River nourishes our community in many ways. It supports tourism and recreation. It supports our economy. It is the lifeblood of the Jacksonville ecosystem."

KJB officials expressed gratitude to the many volunteers who assisted in the cleanup, adding that clean waterways help save the lives of various marine life forms.

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