Cleaning up doesn't have to mean only trash, though the volunteers of Sarasota Bay Watch kept an eye out for that as well.
On March 7, volunteers boated out to the small island off Longboat Key, armed with cutters, chainsaws, machetes and poison "juice." They were ready to cut down invasive plant species on the island, namely Australian pines and Brazilian peppers. This is the second time a cleanup has been organized on the Sister Keys.
"No sooner did we finish than people wanted to go again," programming director Ronda Ryan said. "People want to help but they don't know how. We provide tools and education."
Last year, the town of Longboat Key's Public Works Department did a full day cleanup with a full crew and got the job nearly done, said chairman emeritus Rusty Chinnis. The agreement was that Sarasota Bay Watch volunteer groups would take over after that. Over a dozen people turned out to cut down the invasive plants and put down a treatment that would prevent them from spreading further.