How to have a fun and safe beach cleanup!
Anyone can schedule a cleanup event with Keep Pensacola Beautiful (KPB) at any time. If there are less than 12 participants, it is not necessary for a staff member to accompany your group, unless requested. You may call us at 850-438-1178 or email us at email@example.com to express your interest. Please provide the date, time, requested location, and the estimated number of volunteers that will be in attendance. Our cleanup equipment is lent out on a first-scheduled, first-served basis so it is highly recommended to coordinate with us at least one month in advance. The most popular spot that is requested is Pensacola Beach!
Typically, KPB will suggest conducting a cleanup at either Park East or Park West as they are locations without consistent litter removal by Gulf Island National Seashore or Santa Rosa Island authority staff members. While beach cleanups can provide beautiful scenery and lots of vitamin D, they also require more intense safety precautions. These regulations are outlined below.
- Plan to bring:
- A reusable water bottle. We will have water available but will not be providing cups.
- Sun protection (sunscreen, hat, sunglasses, etc.)
- Closed-toed shoes. You will not be allowed to participate if you are wearing flipflops or are barefoot.
- Clothing that you are okay with getting dirty. Please keep it appropriate as you will be representing you group as well as Keep Pensacola Beautiful. No bathing suits will be permitted.
- Upon arriving at the meeting point, everyone must sign in. The sign-in form also acts as the photo release and liability waiver.
- If you are under the age of 18, you must have a legal guardian/parental release form signed before beginning. These can be emailed ahead of time, if requested.
- You will need to choose a buddy. The beach tends to lean towards the extreme; whether it’s blistering heat or the wind causes the cold to chill your bones, you must have at least one other person with you in case of emergency.
- If you are a minor, you must partner with someone 18 years of age or older.
- A leader will be chosen to represent their group. Each volunteer will be responsible for saving the phone number of the group leader.
- If Keep Pensacola Beautiful is in attendance, we will bring a first aid kit. It will remain at the meeting location with staff. If there is an injury that cannot be remedied with the items in the kit, please don’t hesitate to call 911. Inform the group leader and KPB staff as soon as possible.
- Each pair of buddies with receive one bucket, a litter grabber, and a clipboard with a trash tracking form. Gloves will be provided as well, if desired. We recommend gloving one hand as some items can be difficult to pick up with a grabber.
- You will not be allowed to walk into the dunes. They are not guaranteed to be stable, creating risk of falls. They are also home to several shorebird species that nest in small cups in the sand, including the endangered Snowy Plover. If you find yourself in dune habitat on accident, please turn around immediately and walk out in the same footprints that you walked in on as these nests can be extremely difficult to see. You don’t want your day of service to be ruined by stepping on an egg!
- You will also not be allowed to enter the water. KPB does not provide a lifeguard and therefore cannot be held responsible for any accidents of participants that do not follow this rule. Once the cleanup is complete and you have signed out, you are welcome to enjoy the water as you wish!
- Do not dig. Digging holes in the sand has the potential to harm sea turtles when they come onto the beach to nest at night. It can also place beach goers at risk of injury if they accidentally step into the hole.
- If you come across something that was once alive, is still alive, or will be alive, don’t pick it up. It is not waste produced by humans and therefore should be left for nature to take its course.
- If you find something that would fall under the category of “hazardous sharps”, such as needles, please do not pick them up. Leave one buddy with the item and come back to the meeting location to get a staff member. We will bring you a sharps container to collect it. These items will be disposed of in a medical institution’s waste bin.
- Know your limits! If you feel ill, weak, or tired, take a break! You can come back to the meeting location to rest under KPB’s tent or sit down on the beach and take a breather. Sand is much harder to traverse than pavement!
- When you are feeling done, please empty your bucket into a trash bag at the meeting location, return your litter grabber and clipboard, dispose of your gloves, and sign out. You must sign out as it is the easiest way for KPB to ensure that everyone is safe and accounted for.
The final rule that we have at Keep Pensacola Beautiful is to have fun! As cheesy as it is, you are out there to be good steward of your community and clean the environment that we all love. If we stick to these rules and regulations, we promise that the event will be enjoyable and rewarding!