City of Tampa Holiday Lighted Boat Parade Join Bead-Free Bay Campaign

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Bead Free bay

In keeping with Mayor Jane Castor’s commitment to our waterways and marine life, there will be no beads thrown out during the Holiday Lighted Boat Parade. The #BeadFreeBay an anti-littering awareness campaign is focused on reminding everyone that throwing beads and other litter in the water is prohibited. There are federal, state, and local statutes that prohibit littering in any form, including beads. Before setting sail, participants will see the recently installed Bead-Free Bay signs posted at several docks, which cites the applicate Florida State Statues prohibiting littering.

Beads and other non-biodegradable items are incredibly harmful to our environment and pose serious threats to marine wildlife. They take a thousand years to break down into smaller pieces called microplastics, which never decompose. These microplastics remain persistent in the natural ecosystems for hundreds of years or longer.   “These waterways are a Tampa treasure, people travel here from across the globe to enjoy them. According to Visit Tampa Bay, in 2018, there were 23.6 million visitors to Hillsborough County and visitor spending contributed to $4.2 billion to our local economy.  We simply cannot afford to overlook the reality that, this is our treasure – and, we must protect it. Some beads contain toxins that can affect water quality, marine life, and even people.  This is one simple step that we can take towards our environmental responsibility,” said Mayor Jane Castor.

The Holiday Lighted Boat Parade will continue to be a festive City of Tampa holiday tradition featuring creative lighting displays and themed characters.  Mayor Castor is committed to a fun, safe, and sustainable Holiday Lighted Boat Parade for all to enjoy, including our marine life.


Find graphics for the Bead-Free Bay campaign here:

BROLL of water cleanup from the Florida Aquarium can be found here: b-roll you’ve requested:

BROLL of underwater drone footage from Green Gasparilla can be found here: :


To join the movement, use #BeadFreeBay on social media and follow the City of Tampa at: