3rd Annual Biscayne Bay Experience: Cleanup with Blue Scholars and The Plastic Fisherman
On Saturday, December 10th, 2022, The International SeaKeepers Society participated once again in the Biscayne Bay Experience, an annual celebration of our local ecosystem that involves enjoying, playing in, and taking care of the Bay, which is hosted by Blue Scholars Initiative. In collaboration with The Plastic Fisherman, SeaKeepers engaged 44 volunteers in cleaning Hobie Beach and creating art with the trash collected. Every year, around 8 million tons of plastic enter our ocean, and it is projected that by 2050, more plastic will be in the ocean than fish. To help the public realize that the sea is for fish and not for plastic, The Plastic Fisherman encouraged cleaners to go “plastic fishing” - or find 5 or more pieces of plastic and create a fish out of the pieces. Many of the volunteers participated and created a fun and clever fish out of what would have been marine debris. Thanks to all those who participated, 84 pounds of trash were removed from Hobie Beach and have no chance of polluting our beloved Bay. PET plastics, glass bottles, and metal cans were all sorted out of our trash to be recycled. We extend a huge thank you to Blue Scholars Initiative for continuously caring for our Bay and for throwing such a spectacular event and thank The Plastic Fisherman for collaborating on this cleanup with us. We look forward to continuing to work with both of you in the future and will see you all next year!
CleanSwell is a trash collection mobile app developed by Ocean Conservancy and utilized by volunteers at each of our cleanups that allows them to record the types and quantities of trash found during their cleanup. Our mission at SeaKeepers begins with the foundation of research followed by the education of communities that empower them to protect and restore the surrounding coastal and marine environments. Data from the CleanSwell app is included in a global database that scientists everywhere can access and provides a means of identifying pollution trends that are location specific. Using CleanSwell at our cleanups involves community members in the Ocean Conservancy’s pursuit of evidence-based solutions for a healthy ocean and the wildlife and people that depend on it, as well as provides the data necessary for effective local legislation to be written accomplishing the SeaKeepers’ goal of protection and eventual restoration. This cleanup saw 90% of volunteers participating in recording the trash they picked up, and they accounted for 100% of the trash collected.