Advocates want to clean up Florida’s dirty water now and in the future

Hands Across the Sand against oil drilling

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Environmentalists are focused on keeping Florida beaches clean and pristine; on Saturday more than a hundred people came together on Gandy Beach in St Petersburg for Hands Across the Sand. Residents, advocates and grassroots organizations were trying to raise awareness for a greener Florida environment.

Many of the participants came early to the beach on the south side of the Gandy Bridge to help pick up trash. Most beach-goers and onlookers didn’t seem to notice the event and didn’t join in the clean up. Thomas Paterek, chair of the local Suncoast Surf Riders Foundation, said the strange array of garbage can make enjoying the water a challenge.

The windy conditions on the beach didn’t mask the hot Florida sun or the slightly murky blue-green water. Pat dePlasco of the grassroots organization, Keep Pinellas Beautiful, said stopping an often overlooked source of pollution is a good first step.

At noon, after the beach clean up, more than a hundred people lined the shoreline holding hands.