Annual Peninsula Cleanup
Volunteer at the Annual Peninsula Cleanup
Please volunteer with us on Saturday, February 11, 2023 for Nassau Bay’s 27th Annual Peninsula Cleanup! The Clean-up will be conducted from 8:30 AM to 11:30 AM or however much time that you can spend. Due to narrow street and limited parking, please park at the parking lot at David Braun Park and walk to the Peninsula Gate.
This event will combine efforts of Keep Nassau Bay Beautiful and the Clear Creek Environmental Foundation (CCEF). You may also volunteer with CCEF and work the cleanup from a boat by going to the Egret Bay Blvd (FM 270) boat ramp, where boats will be launched.
We will have trash bags, gloves, some trash pick-up sticks, masks, hand sanitizer, and water at the check-in table.
For volunteers who worked this event in the past, if you have pick-up sticks from those events, please bring them. Please wear long pants and shoes which won’t pull off easily, since you may encounter mud.
We also welcome volunteers with golf carts or ATVs which will be used to transport volunteers to and from the Peninsula. Please wear masks while riding on the vehicles. We will try to arrange for golf carts to transport you to/from the Peninsula gate and parking lot.
Kayakers and canoeists are also welcome since some of the trash is difficult to reach from the shore. The City has a kayak/canoe launch site at the end of the parking lot in David Braun Park, where you can park and easily unload your kayak or canoe. You can also drop your accumulated trash at the parking lot when you return.
Former Mayor Mark Denman, who started the event 26 years ago, will be marking areas of high trash density with long PVC poles with orange-painted tops. This will help focus our efforts since it is impossible to clean the entire Peninsula.
We truly appreciate your interest in this volunteer effort which will make the wildlife area much more pleasant to visit. It will also provide you an outlet to burn off the energy that you’ve saved up during the pandemic.
For more information contact Mark Denman, an active volunteer each year, by phone at 713.202.6488 or e-mail at email@example.com.
The First Clean Up... 25 Years Later
In 1991, Mark and Diana Denman bought their first Nassau Bay home (after renting in Balboa & Bal Harbour) on Harbour Drive, just down the street from the legendary (among local high school kids) peninsula. It was gated and no access was allowed.
On a couple occasions, Mark was able to walk around the fence to see what was back there. One thing he noticed, besides the peninsula's beauty, was lots of trash, especially beer cans, that looked like they had been there for years. With interest perked on its potential, Mark attended his first council meeting in 1993 to seek future access to the wildlife area, but unfortunately found no interest from Council. About a year later, with a newly elected City Council, Mark approached the City again and found great support from the City Manager John Kennedy, along with forward-thinking members of Council, Don Johnson, Don Matter, and Phil Johnson, among others. Mark notes, "it was the beginning of a great reinvigoration of Nassau Bay."
Around the same time City Attorney Dick Gregg, Jr. was working on attaining ownership of the peninsula, as it had been owned by various bankrupt developers and finally by the defunct Savings and Loan institution. The Resolution Trust Company (RTC), a government agency that took over assets from the Savings and Loan failure, took ownership and was looking for a buyer. City Attorney Gregg personally knew the local RTC trustee and was successful in Nassau Bay being “given” the 76-acre peninsula in return for a promise to pay all outstanding tax liens (which eventually were mostly forgiven).
Around 1995, the City gained full ownership of the peninsula. In 1996 (long before Mark was an elected official), City Council gave Mark their blessing to organize the first clean-up. Continued support by Council eventually lead to opening up the peninsula to visitors. A crushed granite walking path was later added, along with benches and a shoreline sidewalk from David Braun Park.
The Annual Clean Up is now coordinated with the Clear Creek Environmental Foundation, who dedicates several boats and dozens of volunteers to the peninsula. Thank you Roscoe Lee and the Parks & Recreation Committee for their increased support of the clean up. From the combined efforts, Mark is proud that the interior portion of the peninsula is thoroughly clear of all trash. Clean-ups are now focused on shoreline debris delivered by Clear Creek and Clear Lake, which is a never-ending task. Remarking on the clean-up, Mark "looks forward to continuing this tradition as long as [he is] able and [the City] continues to get great support by future Councils and volunteers".