Baldwin County family on a mission to clean the beaches

By Melanie LeCroy Lifestyle Editor melanie@gulfcoastmedia.com
Posted 1/26/22

One Baldwin County family has turned their remedy for pandemic boredom into a movement.When the COVID-19 pandemic shut down Alabama’s beaches, Ryan and Maggie Cavers'; beach portrait …

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Baldwin County family on a mission to clean the beaches

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One Baldwin County family has turned their remedy for pandemic boredom into a movement.
When the COVID-19 pandemic shut down Alabama’s beaches, Ryan and Maggie Cavers' beach portrait photography business’s schedule went from booked to canceled. The young family of four live on a piece of property with fruit trees, a large garden and room to roam. Despite the outdoor space to play, boredom began to set in, so they took to the water.
“We started going to the beach. We would get on the boat and go places where nobody else was or drive to Fort Morgan and go for two- or three-mile walks,” Ryan Caver said.
The first day the family explored the beach, Oliver, a kindergartner, said it was dirty. His parents armed him with a bucket and just two minutes later, he was back with a full bucket.
“Maggie said we should help. The first day we spent 30 minutes cleaning the area. He enjoyed it and we did too. It gave us something to do. The next day, Oliver asked where we were going, so we went to another beach,” Caver said.

The family made the beach clean-up days a daily event and Caver said it not only gave them something to do but also helped relieve their anxiety over what was happening in the world.
On June 7, 2020, the daily fun activity turned into a competition that led to a movement and book with just a few simple words: 'Dad, I can pick up more than you.'
“Maggie and I are really competitive. We had a fish scale and after the competition we weighed our haul and Oliver won. It was so much fun that the next day we raced again. It gave us the idea for the book,” Caver said.
During their cleanups on the beach, Oliver and his dad would come up with rhymes. The rhymes were jotted down and Maggie suggested sending them to her sister who happens to be a copy editor.
What they got back was a fantastic book.
"Litter, Littler Please Come Here" is an illustrated children’s book that encourages children to do their part to clean up the beach to protect the sea life and animals. The book also encourages children to race their friends to see who can pick up the most litter. The litter races inspired the family to start holding Litter Rodeos.
“I have been to the cleanups. They aren’t fun. We tried a litter race with friends and the kids had fun and we decided we needed to do this more. We didn’t think anyone would show up to the first one because it was all the way down at Fort Morgan on a Saturday but there were people from Pensacola, Mobile and Fairhope that made it at 8:30 a.m.,” Caver said.
The first Litter Rodeo at Fort Morgan attracted 102 participants who picked up 576 pounds of litter in one hour.
The book also inspired the Cavers to create Clean Horizons which is an organization with a mission to inspire younger generations and their families to get involved in environmental actions.
The organization has teamed up with other organizations and businesses to hold Litter Rodeos in Pensacola, Gulf Shores and Gulf Breeze. The website has free activity downloads, information on the organization, tracks the amount of trash collected and lists where people can purchase "Litter, Litter, Please Come Here."
To date the effort has cleared 4,530 pounds of litter off local beaches.



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