Every year on the 5th of July, the Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum participates in the Keep Lee County Beautiful beach cleanup initiative.


The beaches are in need of thorough cleaning after the previous evening’s Independence Day celebrations. Volunteers across Lee County meet to dispose of the fireworks and other litter left behind before it has a chance to pollute our waterways.


Two of the Museum’s Marine Biologists, Kelsey Hausmann and Jorden Falker, were the site leads for Sanibel’s Causeway Islands. Their group of 13 volunteers collected around 200 pounds (18 full bags) of debris from 1.25 miles of shoreline. The most common items collected included plastic bottles, bottle caps, cigarette butts, and socks. The most interesting item found was the front fender of a jet ski.


“The Museum is glad to support Keep Lee County Beautiful’s efforts to help preserve our environment and protect our local marinelife,” said said Sam Ankerson, Executive Director of the National Shell Museum.


To learn more about the Museum’s volunteer opportunities, visit ShellMuseum.org/volunteer or email [email protected].


About the Museum: The Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum is a Natural History Museum, and the only accredited museum in the United States with a primary focus on shells and mollusks. Its mission is to use exceptional collections, aquariums, programs, experiences, and science to be the nation’s leading museum in the conservation, preservation, interpretation, and celebration of shells, the mollusks that create them, and their ecosystems. Permanent exhibitions on view include the Great Hall of Shells which displays highlights of the Museum’s collection of some 550,000 shells, as well as the Beyond Shells living gallery of aquariums and over 50 species of marine life. For more information on the Museum, please visit ShellMuseum.org or call (239) 395-2233.