Florida Wildlife Hospital and Sanctuary to host Family Causeway Cleanup


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A Florida Wildlife Hospital and Sanctuary volunteer holds a baby sandhill crane.

Courtesy of the Florida Wildlife Hospital

Florida Wildlife Hospital and Sanctuary will be hosting a Family Causeway Cleanup on Sept. 5.

“We see a lot of patients due to debris,” said Chelsea Goff, the assistant director and volunteer coordinator. “We are trying to avoid seeing some of these patients come through our doors.”

“Our goal is to make this such a large event that we have enough volunteers to clean up all the causeways in Brevard,” Goff said.

Seabirds, like pelicans; birds of prey, such as ospreys; seagulls, such as laughing gulls; and small mammals, like raccoons, are affected.

“The birds use the causeways to land and eat the fish they’ve caught in the lagoon,” Goff added.

Fishing line, netting and cigarette butts commonly litter the causeways.

“The fishing line especially concerns us,” Goff said.

“A lot of animals are wound up in the fishing line; hooks are embedded in animals. We will see them come in unable to digest,” she added.

The event will take place between 6 and 8 p.m. at both the Pineda Causeway and the Eau Gallie Causeway. Forty volunteers will be needed at each site.

Volunteers should wear light clothing and closed-toed shoes. Children ages 6 and older can participate if accompanied by a parent.

Trash bags, gloves, safety vests, buckets and trash pickers will be provided by Keep Brevard Beautiful, Inc. Water will also be available.

Florida Wildlife Hospital and Sanctuary treats 5,000 patients per year.

“This year, we are currently at 3,860,” Goff said. “It’s been a busy year.”

The Florida Wildlife Hospital and Sanctuary is a licensed rehabilitation hospital. The goal of which is to rehabilitate sick, injured, and orphaned native Florida wildlife and migratory birds, and release them back into the wild.

For more information, go to floridawildlifehospital.org or call 321-254-8843.

To sign up as a volunteer, go to allforgood.org/projects/28glxzjr.

What do you do if you find a sick or injured sandhill crane?

Sandhill cranes are prone to leg and foot injuries. If the bird is still able to walk, fly and eat, do not intervene.

If the bird is down, can’t eat or get away from predators, call the Florida Wildlife Hospital and Sanctuary at 321-254-8843 between 9 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., seven days a week for instructions.

Drop-off boxes are located at 4650 N. U.S. 1 in Palm Shores. After hours, call Wild Florida Rescue at 321-821-7881 or the Brevard County Sheriff’s Animal Services for assistance.