Bay County conservation groups hosting cleanup festival on Lake Powell on Sept. 21

August 26, 2013

lakepowellThe Lake Powell Community Alliance (LPCA) and the St. Andrew Bay Resource Management Association (RMA) invite you to join in a community effort to celebrate and beautify Lake Powell, a rare coastal dune lake located in the western part of Bay County.

The event will be held on Sat., Sept. 21 from 8  a.m. – 2  p.m.

Registration will be from 8 – 9 a.m.. Participants may register at Lake Powell Park (boat ramp) or Camp Helen State Park. The shoreline cleanup will last until noon, then the festivities continue until 2  p.m. at Lake Powell Park. Visit with the LPCA, RMA, and other groups at their ‘eco­booths’ to enjoy exhibits about their research and conservation projects. There will also be a ‘chance drawing’ by donation to win prizes donated by local businesses.

This event is just one of thousands being held that day as part of the Ocean Conservancy’s International Coastal Cleanup, a global effort to remove trash from coastal beaches and inland waterways. The 2012 event rallied over 500,000 volunteers in 97 countries to pick up 10 million pounds of trash. In Florida, more than 23,000 volunteers removed over 452,000 pounds of trash from 1,174 miles of shoreline.

RMA and LPCA decided to host a cleanup at Lake Powell this year because of the special qualities of the lake. The Lake Powell ecosystem is known for its beauty and biodiversity as well as its exceptional recreational and educational opportunities. Emily Ellis, LPCA vice president, has been working for over 18 years to promote conservation and stewardship of the lake.

“In our little corner of this earth, we have a very unique and precious resource,” said Ellis. “Lake Powell was designated an Outstanding Florida Waterway in 1991 and it is among the largest of the rare Coastal Dune Lakes which occur in only a few places around the world.”

The goal is to remove litter from the lake shoreline, encourage community involvement, and raise awareness about this precious resource. Other groups are eagerly joining the effort, including the Friends of Camp Helen State Park, Wild Heron Homeowners Association and Bay County Audubon Society. This is a great opportunity to bring our community together for a common cause. More groups are welcome to register a team.

Lake Powell Park: 23104 Lakeview Drive, Panama City Beach, or Camp Helen State Park: 23937 Panama City Beach Parkway, Panama City Beach.

Gear provided: vinyl gloves, garbage bags, data cards, snack. What to bring: closed­toed shoes, hat, sunscreen, grabber, work gloves. Bring your boat, canoe, kayak or paddleboard and join the armada of cleanup crews (life jacket and whistle required).

Questions: e­mail, phone 850­763­4303, or visit