Tampa, FLA. — The partnership between Suzuki Marine USA and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers achieved an important new milestone yesterday, as Suzuki leadership, staff, and company volunteers teamed up with key representatives of the Buccaneers organization and regional non-profit Keep Tampa Bay Beautiful to remove trash from the beaches along Picnic Island Park.
This collaborative event — The Inaugural Bucs Beach Cleanup Powered by Suzuki — took place March 8 from 10 a.m. to Noon. This popular park features a beach, canoe and boat launch, picnic area, pier, playground, event shelters, a dog park and much more. With support, logistics and equipment provided by Keep Tampa Bay Beautiful, Suzuki Marine and Bucs volunteers were able put on their gloves, pick up their buckets and grabbers, and set out up and down the beach collecting plastic waste, bottles, cans, cigarette butts and all sorts of items from the water and sand. At the end of the two-hour event, volunteers had removed and properly disposed of 210 pounds of trash off the beach.
Given the physical constraints of the location and available infrastructure, this initial event was limited to volunteers from “Team Suzuki” and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers organization. Still, dozens of hard-working volunteers from both teams made a significant impact in beautifying this popular park and protecting its valuable natural resources. The Buccaneers contingent included members of its cheerleading squad, team mascot Captain Fear and a special guest, rookie offensive lineman Luke Goedeke, whom the team selected in the second round of the 2022 NFL draft.
“We are very fortunate to live in paradise here on the west coast of Florida with the terrific weather and some of the world’s greatest beaches that we get to enjoy year-round,” said Buccaneers Chief Operating Officer Brian Ford. “That’s why it is so important to work together to ensure that our beaches stay beautiful and safe for everyone—including marine life. We are proud and excited to partner with Suzuki Marine on this first Beach Clean Up and we look forward to many more impactful community outings together in the coming years through this partnership.”
“Clean up events such as this have long been a key part of Suzuki’s ongoing CLEAN OCEAN PROJECT initiative,” said George “Gus” Blakely, Suzuki Marine USA Executive Vice President, Sales & Service. “This event is especially significant for us, as it allows us to explore additional possibilities we know will come through partnering with a respected organization like the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. More importantly, this joint experience will help us move a step closer to our ultimate goal of future public volunteer events, where we could have thousands of people fanning out to remove micro plastics and trash from the beach. Talk about making a positive impact for the community. Our entire company is looking forward to this eventuality,” added Blakely.
About Suzuki Marine
Suzuki is a leading manufacturer of 4-stroke outboard motors ranging from the ultra-portable 2.5 horsepower to the flagship DF350 V-6 with contra-rotating dual propellers. Over the years, Suzuki outboards have won nine Innovation Awards from the National Marine Manufacturer’s Association (NMMA) for motors as small as 25 horsepower, demonstrating Suzuki’s commitment to making the best technology available to the widest possible audience. Over the past few years, Suzuki Marine USA opened a U.S. Marine Technical Center in Panama City, Florida and moved to a new corporate headquarters in Tampa, Florida, to be closer to the heart of the U.S. boating industry and boating capital of the country. Through its CLEAN OCEAN PROJECT, regional cleanup and habitat restoration efforts around the world, and company-wide plastic waste reduction efforts, Suzuki has demonstrated a commitment to protecting coastal and marine habitat at home and around the world.