On Saturday, September 9th, the City of Palm Coast hosted its 16th Annual Intracoastal Waterway Cleanup event with soaring results!
Volunteers began gathering at the Palm Coast Community Center early Saturday morning, where they received a free T-shirt, trash bags, and gloves before heading out to collect trash from parks, waterways, trails, and roadways in Palm Coast.
Since 2008, volunteers participating in the event have collected over 27,000 pounds of trash. This year, over 190 volunteers participated in the event and recovered over 1,800 pounds of trash!
Prior to the event, Florida Inland Navigation District (F.I.N.D.) Commissioner Randall “Randy” Stapleford presented a $5,000 check to Mayor Alfin, City Manager Denise Bevan, and Stormwater Operations Manager Jordan Myers for the waterway cleanup event. These funds, combined with the efforts of community volunteers, enabled the event to be successful.
At the close of the event, volunteers were rewarded with prizes for the individual who collected the most trash, the group that collected the most trash, and the most unique trash F.I.N.D. The winners of the Individual Most Trash Collected were Christopher & Sophia Harrison, who collected an impressive 80 lbs. The Group Most Trash Collected award went to Girl Scout Troop 2413, who collected over 1,100 pounds of trash. Lastly, Palm Coast resident Karolyn Whitney received the award for Most Unique F.I.N.D. for recovering a vintage telephone line concrete marker.
Winners at this year’s event enjoyed more prizes than ever, thanks to FCC, the City’s waste collection service provider. FCC generously donated valuable rewards, including a portable camp grill, a reusable shopping tote, and a Visa gift card. This increased the excitement of the competition and highlighted the importance of community engagement and environmental stewardship, making this year’s event more rewarding for all.
“I want to thank everyone who came out and participated in this great event,” Palm Coast Mayor David Alfin said. “This is a wonderful event that not only benefits the environment but also brings our residents together for a great cause. It was incredible to be a part of it, and I’m so proud of the Palm Coast staff for organizing such a fantastic event.”
This year’s event mascot, “Torpedo the Osprey,” was carefully chosen for its strong connection to Palm Coast and the Intracoastal waterways. Ospreys are a common sight in the region, symbolizing the local wildlife’s resilience and adaptability. The name “Torpedo” was picked by Stormwater Assistant Maintenance Manager Stacey Davis’ daughter, Bailey as it perfectly captures the osprey’s remarkable posture when it takes a dramatic dive into the water. Torpedo symbolizes the spirit of the Intracoastal Waterway Cleanup, where volunteers work to protect the environment, just as Torpedo does in its natural habitat.