A wave of nearly 500 Disney VoluntEARS scoured Brevard County beaches on Nov. 13, clearing more than 2,500 pounds of trash from the coastline as part of the International Coastal Cleanup, the world’s largest volunteer effort to improve the health of the ocean and waterways. Disney VoluntEARS, working with the Ocean Conservancy, Keep Brevard Beautiful, United States Coast Guard and the Canaveral Port Authority, represented the largest group of participants in the community-wide clean up event.
“More than 60 percent of trash found along our beaches and waterways originate on land, threatening marine wildlife and undermining tourism and other economic activities.” said Leonardo Viana, manager of Strategic Partnerships for the Ocean Conservancy. “We really appreciate Disney’s participation in such an important global movement to keep our waterways and beaches clean for everyone.”
Joined by friends and family, Disney VoluntEARS from Walt Disney World Resort, Disney Cruise Line and Walt Disney Imagineering lent a hand to preserve Florida’s natural beauty and protect the environment by cleaning nearly four miles of beach near the Disney Cruise Line terminal in Port Canaveral. Their efforts will help keep trash and debris out of local waterways, protect sea life and make the beaches more enjoyable. The majority of items picked up were cigarette butts, plastic wrappers and fishing line.
“Stopping to pick up pieces of trash or debris on the beach and other waterways is a simple way people can make a difference for wildlife in their communities,” said Jackie Ogden, vice president of Animal Programs and Environmental Initiatives for Walt Disney Parks & Resorts. “Each item collected today represents one less risk to marine animals and that is what the cleanup is all about.”
The cleanup is part of Disney’s ongoing commitment to the Central Florida community as it prepares to bring its newest ship, The Disney Dream, home to Port Canaveral on January 4. Disney’s involvement in the Ocean Conservancy’s International Coastal Cleanup spans seven years; since 2003, more than 2,300 VoluntEARS have picked up more than 28,500 pounds of garbage at Florida Coastal Cleanup events.
The Walt Disney Company, through the Disney VoluntEARS program, provides opportunities for Cast Members to contribute their time and expertise toward positively impacting their communities. Walt Disney World Resort VoluntEARS are active in Central Florida; in 2009 they gave a record 251,000 hours in service to our community ranging from serving meals to the homeless to coaching Little League.