As we approach the busy seasons along the Gulf Coast, our shores can get even more overloaded with debris and trash. Some of this is due to carelessness of individuals; other debris may be coming back ashore after a storm. Our beaches are a gift and something we should strive to clean.
The City of Orange Beach is doing what it can to address marine debris and waterborne trash. This pilot program, launched in 2014, is the Waterways and Shoreline Enhancement Program (WSEP). The goal of this program is to mitigate marine debris and trash on a daily basis across the miles of gulf and backwater shoreline.
This program is still making an impact on our Alabama beaches. Staffed by two part-time City of Orange Beach employees, the boat is deployed in the warmer months. In 2018, nearly 70,000 pounds of debris and trash was collected from local waters, plus 759 bags of trash from remote shorelines and islands.
These are impactful numbers when trying to comprehend the amount of trash that makes its way beyond the shores. As beachgoers, we should see this as further encouragement to support their efforts by keeping trash corralled while on a boat and picking up any floating debris you come across. And, of course, when spending the day on the beach, be sure to Leave Only Footprints!