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HandsOn Manatee Participates in Environmental Efforts

HandsOn Manatee is teaming up with local environmental non-profits to improve and preserve Florida's natural habitats. On Saturday, May 8th, volunteers participated in the 2nd Annual Sister Keys Clean-up. Sarasota Bay Watch, the Town of Longboat Key, the Chiles Group, and Cannons Marina sought the help of local residents and members of The ManaTEEN Club and the Sarasota Bay Guardians were a few of the people who dedicated their Saturday to make this project a success!

A truckload of trash and debris was removed from the island and the participants were treated to lunch afterward at the Mar Vista Dockside Restaurant. The mangroves are now free of a large amount of foreign objects that wash ashore. Although a vast amount of trash was collected, it is reported that less trash was found since the 1st Annual Clean-up was held. Volunteers efforts are making a difference! Local environmental efforts did not stop here though.

On Saturday, May 15th, ManaTEENs and Sarasota Bay Guardians were at it again. Roughly 80 pounds of invasive air potatoes were cleared from the North Water Tower Park in Sarasota. This project was made possible in cooperation with the Sarasota Bay Estuary Program, Sarasota Parks and Recreation, and the Sarasota Sky Pilots Disc Golf Club. The air potato is an invasive plant that was originally grown in Africa and Asia as a food source. Unfortunately, these plants grow exceptionally well in the area; however, the potatoes are not edible. Each vine can produce hundreds of potatoes and they often take over native plants. The Bay Guardians and ManaTEENs helped volunteers learn more about this issue and the project was also a huge success!

To learn more about HandsOn Manatee, home of the ManaTEEN Club visit: www.manateens.orgInterested in becoming a Bay Guardian? Visit http://www.sarasotabay.org/educational-bayguardians.html

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