Cape Florida Cleanup

Volunteers at Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park.

Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park is known for its beautiful beaches and scenic views of the Atlantic Ocean beneath the park’s trademark lighthouse.

It requires a lot of work to keep the beaches and views pristine. Debris and microplastics come from many sources, but often are deposited on our beaches by wave activity, impacting both people and wildlife.

The park regularly hosts beach cleanups, relying on the dedication of hundreds of volunteers each month.

The park remains committed to this important effort and has continued these cleanups while maintaining protocols for health and safety by coordinating smaller volunteer groups every Saturday.  

“We started off by limiting it to a single group of 10 people,” said Shane Zigler, volunteer coordinator at Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park. “And gradually, week by week, we added additional groups.”

This slow, steady process has been key to keeping volunteers connected to the park. In November, the park hosted 132 volunteers in a single day, all while maintaining CDC health and safety guidelines. Park staff accomplished this by staggering volunteer arrival times and utilizing multiple outdoor pavilions and park locations. Hand sanitizer, masks, gloves and spray disinfectant were made available to participants. At the end of the day, staff and volunteers collected over 250 pounds of litter off the beach. 

The volunteers came from many community groups, including the American Society of Civil Engineers, Girl Scouts, Doral Key Club, Fill-A-Bag and Mast Academy students.  

“The best part of the day was the smiles on the participants’ faces as they were able to be outside enjoying our beautiful Florida State Parks,” Zigler said. “It was amazing seeing the positive impact they were making on our environment and for their community.” 

Want to join the fun? Contact Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park about volunteer opportunities. Any time you head to one of our 175 award-winning Florida State Parks for an enjoyable day, you can make a positive impact by leaving the beach or trail a little bit cleaner than you found it. 

This article was published in the Real Florida ℠ Connection, the Florida State Parks e-newsletter. Sign-up to get updates and stories from your state parks the first week of every month.