Roof and Debris Removal

September is here and with it comes our long-awaited return to the Florida Keys.

Act-2 alongside the Jose Wejebe Spanish Fly Memorial Foundation, Monroe County, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service have created a coalition to strategically remove all the leftover debris from the different nature habitats throughout the lower Keys.

Our projects began with debris removal in Big Pine Key during the first week. We focused on two areas. The first area is known as Beach Drive, in which both Refuge and County land were littered with large debris from Hurricane Irma. The second area that we focused on was alongside U.S.1 near mile marker 32 (we felt it was imperative to hit these areas first as the Fall Equinox is taking place in September 22nd and this event coupled with King Tides would make it very difficult to address these sites). Even a year later we were able to remove several thousands of pounds of environmentally poisonous rubbish in this area. The Mission Continues Miami & Broward Platoons were on hand to give us a hand with this project.

During the second week we decided to revisit Little Torch Key, where we previously removed the two roofs. As you recall, we had already removed two roofs on a prior visit. It was an emotionally charged week. September 10th was the one Year anniversary of Hurricane Irma making landfall in the Florida Keys. September 11th needs no explanation. September 15th is International Coastal Clean-up day. We were fortunate to have a solid group of local and visiting volunteers to tackle the job. It was a very successful week and our goals were accomplished in this particular area. All roof debris was removed, and we paid our respects to these important events the best way we know how, through service. An added bonus came in the form of Tommy Ryan who is an Army veteran, and also one of the Fire Fighters during 9/11. He came out to our projects this week and paid homage through service as well.

Both of these areas are considered conservation lands of the Key Deer, and other endangered species. We want to clean it up to promote a healthy environment for the flora and fauna of the lower Florida Keys and the Key Deer Refuge.

All in all, it has been a very successful last two weeks. We have made some great strides in the rehabilitation of these important and unique habitats, but most importantly, we have created bonds with the people of the Lower Keys community (Eric, Thomas, Paul, Harold, Chrissy, Ralph, Eddie, Tommy, Linda, Mikki, I’m thinking of you all, and also anyone else that I’m misplacing their name right now). We will continue to put in work for the next three weeks in order to accomplish our mission for this month.

 We would like to thank everyone that came out and volunteered with us, and those that have donated to the cause. I hope you continue to come out and continue to support this incredible cause. The Keys can only get better with our continued efforts.

Lastly, keep an eye out for the interviews. Soon they’ll be posted on Social Media and the website.

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And if you can please share our story or donate so we can continue doing more projects. Thank you.

Julissa Rivera