Volunteers are cleaning up after those who won’t on Florida’s beautiful waterways
January 21, 2021 at 00:28 AM EST
During the busy summer season, Freedom Boat Club employees are typically laser-focused on instructing their new members, maintaining the 550 boat fleet, and helping members get out on the water as much as possible. However, during the winter months, a sliver of time opens to get off the dock and out into local waterways to make positive change.This month, Florida Paddling Trails Association (FPTA) Nature Coast teamed with the Freedom Boat Club of Tampa Bay (Yankeetown location) to conduct a site cleanup of a spoil island used by FPTA kayakers.Freedom kayak instructor and Air Force Master Sergeant (ret), Dorsey DeMaster, is electrified with the passion to help. “FPTA volunteers Steve Cournoyer, Brenda Anderson, and Freedom Boat Club employees Beth Hrovat, Justin Lord, and I collectively worked more than five-hours removing trash, a mattress, cushions and other debris left on the site by individuals who don’t practice leave no trace principles.”The Yankeetown spoil island is located on the 1,515 mile Florida Circumnavigational Saltwater Paddling Trail, also known as the FL CT. Utilized by many locals, the spoil island is an official FPTA primitive camp site for kayakers on the trail. Ms. DeMaster herself is currently working to become the first female veteran to paddle the CT in it’s entirety!FPTA Nature Coast Co-Director Steve Cournoyer stated “The site cleanup was successful thanks to the Freedom Boat Club donating use of their boat and employees. Thanks to the teamwork, they were able to clean the site up and have it ready for the next set of kayakers on the FL CT.”As the slow winter season wears on, more volunteers will heed the call and head out to assist with various projects. All requests for assistance will be considered! You can submit suggestions on the Freedom Boat Club Tampa Bay Facebook page.