One Rake at a Time

Cleaning Up Crystal River

One man with a rake raised the awareness of an entire community that our local waters were imperiled.

The Plantation Redfish Classic is proud to be working with One Rake at a Time to help raise funds to help clean up Kings Bay. A portion of the proceeds raised during the tournament will go to One Rake at a Time!

Art Jones of the Kings Bay Rotary Club organized The One Rake at a Time project, a community service project supported by the Rotary Club and Save Crystal River, Inc. The project has grown into an incredible grassroots volunteer effort to clean Lyngbya, harmful blue-green algae, from Kings Bay and restore it to its natural beauty.

One Rake at a Time Video Sponsored by Save Crystal River, Inc.

The overwhelming abundance of this algae blankets the floor of the bay and prevents the healthy growth of the native marine grasses. This foul smelling, filamentous algae is toxic to animals and some humans. Its decay on the bottom of the river reduces oxygen for aquatic life and creates an environment of poor water quality and significantly reduced visibility.

Mechanical Harvesters Hard at Work

Humble Beginnings

Art Jones began raking the waters behind his own home in Crystal River to remove Lyngbya from his canal, one rake at a time. Since then, Art Jones and the Kings Bay Rotary Foundation joined forces to motivate hundreds of students, churches, visitors, and local volunteers to join together in a collective effort to remove Lyngbya from the bay. The volunteers fill barges and kayaks one rake at a time with the noxious algae. It is then taken to shore and loaded on to trucks for removal.

Darton College Students Join the Effort

For the past 4 years, their volunteers have made the 250-mile trip to Hunter Springs in Crystal River, Florida, to help hand rake Lyngbya from our waters.

The Movement Grows

Due to visibly improved water clarity and quality evidenced at Hunter Springs Park in Crystal River, support has grown to include 2 mechanical harvesters that facilitate more efficient removal of larger quantities of Lyngbya in a shorter amount of time. Harvesting permits have been obtained from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), and the operation of the harvesters is under these agency’s supervision. As a result of the mechanical harvester use, more than 3,000 tons of Lyngbya have been removed from the waters of Kings Bay to date in a much shorter period of time than the hand raking.