TAMPA, Fla. - Pirates invaded Tampa a week ago, but there’s still cleaning to be done.
Saturday morning, volunteers from Keeping Tampa Bay Beautiful, Green Gasparilla and scuba divers from Adventure Outfitters spent hours in Seddon Channel, the Gasparilla invasion route, to collect beads and trash.
What they found was just downright barnacles!
Dozens of pounds of beads, hundreds of plastic straws, a toddler’s shoe, a Frozen lunchbox, even a computer.
Some of the trash found has been in our water for decades, like Coke cans made in the early 1980s along with a Milwaukee beer can from the 1970s.
The masterminds behind this massive cleanup effort are young brothers Ethan and Demetri Sedita with Green Gasparilla.
“We have to do something since no one else is doing it and there is so much in there,” says Ethan.
These young environmentalists have collected dozens of pounds of beads throughout the years.
But this time, they brought in the big dogs -- scuba divers.
“We've never done a cleanup this big. We've never gotten so many. We've never been able to see the bottom like now so we can actually target the beads,” says Demetri.
While some of the gunk is now out of our water, Demetri says beads are always a top priority.
“They have a lot of toxins in them. We think that those are leeching into the water. So right now, when we have fish in the water, those toxins get in the fish and we eat the fish,” says Demetri.
Volunteers collected 2,100 beads and 276 pounds of trash.