The concept of Ocean Hour is to spend at least one hour every Saturday cleaning a local beach or waterway in northwest Florida. It started with one woman and has grown to be so much more. The non-profit group works in northwest Florida. Through hard work and diligence, they are now in demand and work with everyone from youth groups, the local military naval station, to the national park service.
When the Gulf Star Program kicked off in 2016, the Gulf of Mexico Alliance Education and Engagement Team opted to award mini-grants across the Gulf States. Ocean Hour’s winning award used $10,000 to expand their cleanup locations, develop a data collection plan, engage local businesses, and work with local communities to reduce waste.
This all-volunteer group collected over 5 tons of debris in 2017. Through the Alliance and the Marine Debris Cross-Team Initiative, they were introduced to the MyCoast app to begin tracking their collection data. Over the course of the year, they held 30 cleanups and engaged more than 839 volunteers. Additional outreach included a high school video contest, expanding their social media presence, local news coverage, and engaging eight businesses to reduce/eliminate straws. They are also working with the League of Women Voters on a plastics reduction campaign.
The Gulf of Mexico Alliance is pleased to have played a role in the growth of this organization. To engage with Ocean Hour go to their website https://www.oceanhourfl.com/.