By Shari Roan
Along with the maritime forest, Amelia Island is best known among nature lovers for its beautiful beaches and dune system. With 13 miles of beaches, keeping our beaches free of trash is no small task.
In 2022, the Amelia Island Beach Ambassadors, along with a coalition of island environmental groups, successfully lobbied the Fernandina Beach City Commission to pass an ordinance prohibiting cigarette smoking on the beach.
This was a significant achievement. But there’s more work to be done – and that is where every Nassau County citizen can make a difference. There are two urgent needs.
One, please reach out to the Nassau County Commissioners and request that they also prohibit cigarette smoking on county beaches. Cigarette butts are the most common type of trash we find on our local beaches – especially at Peters Point and beaches to the south.
Two, consider joining our robust and dedicated network of Beach Ambassadors volunteers.
This Memorial Day, we will launch our summer of beach cleanups. Our volunteers choose one day a week, usually in the evening, to scour the most popular island beaches and remove trash before it can be washed out to sea. We cover most of the island’s major beaches every evening during the summer months.
We also perform beach cleanups on special occasions, such as a July 5 fireworks cleanup, and after large storms.
Once a week, you can help remove cigarette butts, bottles, bottle caps, straws, flip flops, clothing, sandwich bags, plastic sand toys, sunglasses, peanut shells and more that mar our beaches and threaten fish, turtles and seabirds.
We welcome new volunteers. This is a wonderful way to enjoy the beautiful beaches on summer evenings and volunteer your energy to benefit Nassau County. Sign up at https://ameliabeachambassadors.com/volunteer