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Grants at Work: Spring(s) Cleaning

A mattress, bed frame, and a set of pillows sounds like a scene you’d find in a furniture outlet store, not in the Ocklawaha River Basin. But that’s exactly what nonprofit group Current Problems found during a recent springs cleanup.

The organization hosts cleanup events, powered by volunteers, to remove trash and debris from Florida’s waterways. Thanks to a $13,400 grant from our Foundation’s Protect Florida Springs plate, the organization has removed over 10,000 pounds of trash from Ichetucknee, Rainbow, Silver, and Santa Fe River Springs over the last calendar year. Incredibly, 50% of found items from April 2023 to October 2023 were able to be recycled.

Nearly complete bedroom sets aren’t the only unusual items in Florida’s waterways. One site on the Rainbow River yielded:

  • Ping pong balls
  • Eight flip-flops
  • Five electronic cigarettes
  • Aluminum cans of every beer found in the gas station cooler
  • A pair of underwear

Studies indicate that 80% of marine debris originates from freshwater systems, amplifying the need for active participation from all Florida communities in pollution prevention and reduction. You can support work like this by purchasing a Protect Florida Springs license plate.

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Gordon L. Nelson, CPA, CFP® is a planned giving specialist. Want to get your questions answered? Write him or call him

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