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Canal Clean-up draws 150 to annual event at Yacht Club

By Staff | Mar 15, 2009

Cape Coral might just be a little cleaner following the 2nd annual Canal Clean-up.
About 150 people turned out bright and early Sunday morning at the Yacht Club to lend a hand in tidying up local water ways. Beginning at 8 a.m., participants took to their boats, kayaks, and their own two feet, scouring all sides of the Cape for trash.
Organizer Kim Cressman estimated the group would pull upwards of 3,000 pounds of trash out of the canals.
Cressman, an employees of the Cape’s Environmental Resource Division, said the effort is aimed at not only cleaning up the canals, but also providing a unified front in the community when it comes to litter.
“We get calls from people all year long who are picking up trash by themselves. It’s easy to feel alone,” Cressman said. “Also, we’re trying make people more aware of the things they’re doing. Often, a lot of litter is unintentional.”
Clean-up participants were reporting items such as air conditioning units, televisions and engines floating in the Cape’s canals.
Carol Chruniak set out across the Caloosahatchee from the Yacht Club, picking up such disparate items as a football, a chair and boat motor.
Chruniak participated in last year’s clean-up, and thought this year the waterways were in much better shape.
“It was much cleaner this year than last,” she said. “People are starting to get the idea.”
Cressman admitted that 150 people picking up trash might not make a big difference in the long run, but if the message of self-awareness when dealing with litter can be sunk into the minds of Cape residents, it surely can’t hurt.
“It really depends on how you measure it (the success rate),” she said. “The vent really is about community and awareness, and that’s a huge difference.”
The message seemed to reach Pam and Tom Searcy loud and clear. As snowbirds from Idaho, they felt in their duty to reach out the community and try to help in any way they can.
“It made me realize how I might have let something go sometime,” Pam said. “I have a responsibility to my children to set a good example.”