LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla., Nov. 14, 2011 – More than 300 Disney VoluntEARS picked up nearly 2,000 pounds of trash and debris Saturday along four miles of Brevard County coastline as part of the International Coastal Cleanup, the world’s largest volunteer effort to improve the health of the ocean and waterways. Working alongside partners from the Ocean Conservancy, Keep Brevard Beautiful, the U.S. Coast Guard, the Canaveral Port Authority and Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Florida, Disney VoluntEARS represented the largest group of participants in the community-wide clean up event.
“By cleaning up our coastal areas, Disney VoluntEARS are directly contributing to the conservation of wildlife and nature, which is an important part of Disney’s environmental commitment,” said Jackie Ogden, vice president of Animals, Science and Environment for Walt Disney Parks and Resorts. “I’m proud of everyone who came out to help ensure that our state’s natural wonders will inspire and nurture future generations.”
With garbage bags and tally sheets in hand, Walt Disney World Resort and Disney Cruise Line VoluntEARS teamed up to scour the shoreline in an effort to keep trash and debris out of local waterways, protect sea life and make the beaches more enjoyable for all. The majority of items picked up were cigarette butts, plastic wrappers and fishing line.
Disney’s involvement in the Ocean Conservancy’s International Coastal Cleanup spans 18 years; since 2003, Disney VoluntEARS have picked up more than 38,000 pounds (17.5 tons) of debris and trash at Florida Coastal Cleanup events.
“We truly appreciate the Disney VoluntEARS and their families coming to Brevard County each fall to help keep our beaches clean and beautiful,” said Pat Brown, executive director of Keep Brevard Beautiful. “It might seem small to pick up a few bottle caps here and plastic bags there, but when hundreds of people are focused on this, it means a world of difference to the people who visit our beaches and the animals who call it home.”
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. Support for environmental projects and animal-related organizations are a hallmark for Disney VoluntEARS and the company itself. Disney VoluntEARS often take part in coastal cleanups and support the Oakland Nature Preserve, the Nature Conservancy, and the City of Orlando Keep Orlando Beautiful and Green Up Orlando programs.