The Florida Aquarium is encouraging the community to join its crew in helping to keep beads out of the bay during Gasparilla festivities.
Revelers are asked to drop off beads collected during the celebrations at the aquarium for recycling. Supporters of this Bead-Free Bay initiative will receive 50% off one adult general admission ticket for every 5-gallon bucket of recycled beads delivered to the aquarium, according to a news release.
The promotion is available Jan. 20 through Feb. 11.
As part of The City of Tampa’s Bead-Free Bay initiative, the effort aims to help protect the marine ecosystem. Gasparilla beads are not only harmful to wildlife, throwing beads into the Bay also is illegal according to Florida Statute 403.413, the release says.
All beads collected will be donated to the MacDonald Training Center, a nonprofit organization that helps adults with disabilities prepare for the workforce through vocational training, employment pathways, residential supports and life-enrichment opportunities. Workers will sanitize and repackage the beads for reuse at future events.
Following this year’s Gasparilla activities, divers from The Florida Aquarium and other organizations will participate in a bead cleanup. Hundreds of pounds of beads and debris are removed from local waters each year, the release says.
To learn more about Bead-Free Bay, visit FlAquarium.org/upcoming-events/gasparilla-bead-recycling/.
Published January 17, 2024