The NEFAR Community Affairs Task Force will host its annual Clean-up Florida Waters event on Saturday, July 24 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at a variety of locations along the St. Johns River.
The event has been planned to coincide with a massive effort promoted by Florida Realtors®, the Sunshine state’s largest real estate association, to clean up the state’s lakes, beaches, and other waterways. Florida Realtors® is encouraging everyone within its membership to make time to dispose of trash littering shorelines and floating in lakes, beaches, creeks, rivers, and streams close to their homes or offices sometime within the month of July.
NEFAR will be doing its part by hosting the massive one-day clean-up on Saturday, July 24. The event will include several boat ramp locations for those without access to a watercraft, as well the clean-up of an island that is only accessible by boat. The meet-up location for the boaters is the river near the entrance to Goodby’s Creek. Four pontoon boats with seating for nine passengers each – complete with their own captains – will also be used in the event. NEFAR members are also invited to launch their own watercraft at Goodby’s boat ramp to join the other sailors in making their way to an island within the St. John’s River. Boaters are, of course, responsible for caring for their own vessels and following all U.S. Coast Guard regulations.
A boating contingent will also meet in Palatka at Crystal Cove Marina, 131 Crystal Cove Dr., Palatka, 32177. Kelly Redford, owner of the marina has offered to supply a free drink to all REALTORS® who participate in the clean-up. The plan is for everyone – boaters and landlubbers alike, to meet there at 8:30 a.m. before dispersing to the other boat ramps in the area.
Redford will serve as a boat captain and Chris Fields, a REALTOR® in Watson Realty’s Putnam County office, will have his boat available to help clean up hard to reach areas. A food truck and live band will be available at Crystal Cove Marina that evening for anyone wanting a “sundowner.”
Palatka REALTORS® are welcome to clean up their favorite boat ramp and share photos to NEFAR’s Facebook and Instagram pages with the hashtag #CleanUpFloridaWaters. For more information about clean-up locations in Putnam County contact Tina Arant at firstname.lastname@example.org or 386-326-3500 or Leota Wilkinson at email@example.com or (386) 983-8424.
Meanwhile, landlubbers are invited to meet at any of the following nine locations between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. to clean up the nearby shoreline. NEFAR will provide trash bags, rubber gloves, and water for the volunteers:
Wayne B. Steven’s Boat Ramp
4555 Ortega Farms Blvd., Jacksonville, FL 32210
Sydney J. Gefen Riverwalk Park
505 Alfred DuPont Place, Jacksonville, FL 32202
Jim King Boat Ramp
8203 Heckscher Dr., Jacksonville, FL 32226
Old Ferry Boat Ramp
2231 Old Ferry Rd., Middleburg, FL 32068
Mayport Boat Ramp
4870 Ocean St., Jacksonville, FL 32233
Lake Shore Boat Ramp (Doctors Lake)
4300 Lakeshore Dr., Fleming Island, FL 32003
Palatka Riverfront Park
100 Memorial Parkway, Palatka, FL 32177
Rodman Dam Boat Ramp & Kayak Launch
Rodman Dam Road, Palatka, FL 32177
Crescent City New Boat Ramp
105 Cypress Ave., Crescent City, FL 32112
An after-party will be held at Whitey’s Fish Camp, 2032 County Road 220, Fleming Island, 32003 at 3 p.m., to celebrate the event. Appetizers will be served. A member of the Coastal Conservation Association and/or a representative from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection have been asked to speak at the afterparty, said Mark Feagle, vice chairman of NEFAR’s Community Affairs Task Force, who is spearheading the event.
Watson Realty Corp. and realMLS have signed on as a gold sponsors and Watson Mortgage and Title Services of Northeast Florida is committed to silver sponsorship. Northeast Florida Superior Inspections is a bronze sponsor and Jax Boat Rentals is donating the pontoon boats.
Money raised from the event will go to NEFAR’s Charitable Foundation, with a portion donated in NEFAR’s name toward a St. Johns River restoration project sponsored by the Coastal Conservation Association, Feagle said.
“We are in collaboration with ORRA (Orlando Regional REALTORS® Association), Putnam County officials, and Osceola County Association of REALTORS® to clean up the entire St. Johns from the head waters to the mouth of the river on the same day, July 24,” Feagle said.
But July 24 is not the only day this summer when members of the Northeast Florida Association of REALTORS® are asked to demonstrate their care for the region’s most precious resource. Throughout the entire month of July, NEFAR members are encouraged by Florida Realtors® to grab a trash bag and head toward their favorite waterway. NEFAR and Florida Realtors® also request that their members to post photos of their clean-up efforts on their organization’s social media pages, such as Facebook and Instagram, using the hashtag #CleanUpFloridaWaters.
“The goal is for everyone to come out and clean-up the Florida waters and have a blast,” said Feagle. “It will be a stress-free fun time.”