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Reel Time: Suncoast Waterkeeper launches ‘Eyes on the Suncoast’

The waters on the Suncoast need the protection of those who love them. You can help Suncoast Waterkeeper (SCWK) do that with a new program the nonprofit launched recently by keeping your “Eyes on the Suncoast” and reporting what you see.

Whether you’re boating, biking, swimming, fishing or walking, everyone on or near the water can help SCWK remind residents and visitors why the Suncoast’s marine ecosystem is worth protecting. Suncoast Waterkeeper can’t be everywhere at once, that’s why your contributions are vital to their efforts.

Suncoast Waterkeeper launches 'Eyes on the Suncoast'
You can help Suncoast Waterkeeper by report- ing conditions such as this light-colored plume in area waters. – Rusty Chinnis | Sun

SCWK has designed a platform that makes it easy for you to submit and share what you see. Sharing what you see using your phone, social media and the hashtag #eyesonthesuncoast can be invaluable in efforts to preserve water quality and habitat.

Here are two ways you can report what you see:

1. Use the form on their website for bad conditions or pollution reports only. The form will let you post an image, add a description and give the location of the report.

2. Post to Facebook or Instagram. Here is the perfect place to post what you love about the Suncoast and why it’s important to help organizations like SCWK keep it sustainable. A YouTube video walks you through the process on the webpage. Follow these four easy steps to post to your social media platform:

• Upload a picture;

• Include a description of what you’re reporting;

• Provide the latitude and longitude for your location using your phone’s compass or by dropping a pin on a map app; and

• Add #eyesonthesuncoast.

Need a couple of tips on what to report?

Post the things that inspire and amaze you – wildlife sightings, clear/clean water, a special sunrise and/or sunset, healthy seagrass or marine scenery.

Post the things we need to be aware of like trash/debris, excessive mangrove trimming, including dead mangroves, fish kills, dead or sick aquatic animals, discolored, foamy
or foul-smelling water, sewage spills, algae blooms, gas, oil or grease spills, runoff from construction sites, direct pollution or chemical spills, invasive species as well as other concerns.

If you have questions, visit Suncoast Waterkeeper online.

Don’t underestimate the impact that your contributions can make.

As Margaret Mead, the famous cultural anthropologist said, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed individuals can change the world. In fact, it’s the only thing that ever has.”

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