A crew of 60 members from Northeast Florida’s real estate community descended upon the St. Johns River in NEFAR’s annual Clean-up Florida Waters event July 24. The event was part of a massive effort promoted throughout the month of July by Florida Realtors® to clean up lakes, beaches, rivers, creeks, and streams throughout the Sunshine state.
In planning the July 24 event, NEFAR Waterways Clean-up Chairman Mark Feagle coordinated his efforts with members of Orlando Regional REALTORS® Association and NEFAR REALTOR® members from Putnam County. “Between the three groups, we had over 200 people working to clean up the St. Johns River in one day,” he said, noting between the three organizations, the total clean-up effort spanned the distance from Mayport to Orlando.
NEFAR CEO William Glenn East, Celeta and Mike McClamma, NEFAR Board Secretary Rory Dubin, Janna Thomas, NEFAR Community Affairs Task Force Chairman Nicole Carroll, and NEFAR President Missi Howell were among a force that worked to clean up several boat ramps along the St. Johns River including the Michael B. Scanlan Mayport Boat Ramp, the Jim King Boat Ramp at Sisters Creek, the Lake Shore Boat Ramp at Doctors Lake, and the Wayne B. Stevens Boat Ramp in Ortega Farms. Meanwhile, more than 40 willing workers set forth in a flotilla of nine boats from the Goodby’s Creek Marine Service Center to scrub the shoreline adjacent to the Riverside Arts Market and Exchange Island. The small fleet consisted of five pontoon boats and four private watercraft that were captained by Mark Feagle, Greg Harris, Cameron Bracewell, and Matt Porter.
Sponsoring the event were gold sponsors Watson Realty, realMLS, and Jax Boat Rentals. Watson Mortgage and Watson Title combined as a silver sponsor, while Northeast Florida Home Inspections and Michael Keller of Future Home Loans were bronze sponsors. Also sponsoring the event were Nicole Llinas of Current Problems, a water clean-up company that supplied grabber devices and gloves, and Sherman-Williams and Lowes, which supplied the buckets and trash bags.
After the event, approximately 40 gathered at Whitey’s Fish Camp in Fleming Island to celebrate the day. Nearly $400 was raised from the raffle to be donated to a coastal conservation project in Northeast Florida. Prize sponsors included NEFAR Board member Tiea Vincent and Mark Feagle, who donated fishing charters, Pearl Vision of Jacksonville, Gary Watson of Estate Title and Trust, and Landmark Title.
“It was a good start to a big problem,” said Mark Feagle of the clean-up effort. “The day turned out really well. We hope to make it bigger and better next year.”
Feagle said he is already beginning to plan for the 2022 event and hopes that many volunteers will step forward to assist in the clean-up endeavor.