Did you enjoy Gasparilla, or did you avoid it altogether? Either way, we can all agree that’s important to keep our Bay bead-free. Following the rowdy and raucous celebration the city of Tampa hosts a cleanup event to rid the area of all the plunder the Pirates leave behind.
Generation Sea is partnering with Next Level Dive Club for this cleanup. For the organizers, it’s important to remind the community the consequences of events as massive as Gasparilla.
Diving for beads in Tampa Bay
They are still looking for divers of all levels, land volunteers, boat captains, and more. You can find all the details on the Facebook event page. The cleanup takes place on Sunday, February 2 from 7:30am-10:30am.
Last year, more than 35 tons of trash was collected, according to City Officials — and they were able to recycle about 2.5 tons of what was collected.
Keep Tampa Bay Beautiful Volunteers collected approximately 540 pounds of of additional materials, which includes beads.
4 billion micro plastics in our waters
Findings out of USF St. Pete and Eckerd College indicate there are nearly 4 billion micro plastics in Tampa Bay. That means 1 particle per liter of water.
Divers with the Florida Aquarium pulled more than 200 pounds of beads out of Tampa Bay following 2019’s Gasparilla celebration.
Local businesses are joining the Bead-Free Bay movement by offering discounts to those who bring in their plastic treasure.
Local businesses join the Bead-Free movement
In an effort to help protect the Tampa Bay Area and support Bead Free Bay, The Tampa Pizza Company in South Tampa offering a free personal pizza in exchange for 10lbs of beads. The offer is valid for dine in service through January 30.
The Florida Aquarium is working to keep beads out of the bay this Gasparilla. For every 10 lbs. of beads you collect and bring to the Aquarium, you will get $10 off admission. Those who bring in 30 pounds or more will get free admission. The Florida Aquarium will recycle the beads.