Educational Cleanup with Moishe House
February 19, 2023
On Sunday, February 19th, 2023, The International SeaKeepers Society visited Morningside Park for a special cleanup with 13 of our Spring Junior SeaKeepers as well as a group of around 30 volunteers from a nationwide Jewish service organization called Moishe House who helped us remove 125 pounds of trash from the park! Partnered with Debris Free Oceans, we first led our volunteers through an educational activity on watersheds and marine pollutants using our Earth Echo International water challenge testing kits. With our Earth Echo kits, our volunteers could take several samples of coastal water from Morningside Park and estimate the temperature, dissolved oxygen saturation, pH, and turbidity. After comparing parameter estimates between samples, volunteers discussed potential causes for changes in water chemistry and how those shifts may impact human and environmental health like in the cases of algal blooms, fish kills, etc. as well as how we can prevent these drastic changes from occurring regularly.
This was also our first SeaKeepers beach cleanup where we transitioned to using the Marine Debris Tracker app in an effort to promote the use of coastal cleanup data in research and the creation of local pollution policies based on the types of trash that are most prevalent along our coastlines. Marine Debris Tracker was created by some of our SeaKeepers research partners from the Jambeck Research Group at the University of Georgia to aid in data collection for their Circularity Assessment Protocol (CAP) that aims to better understand the solid waste management practice of urban areas. Among some of the biggest solid waste offenders we often see around Miami are bottle caps, plastic bags, plastic straws, and cigarette butts. A huge thank you to those volunteers who recorded their collections on Marine Debris Tracker, data is the first step towards lasting and impactful policy change, and we are so glad you’ve been involved in making that difference. Not only that, but we hope our volunteers were all able to learn something about marine pollution that inspires them to reduce their waste creation in their own daily lives. Again, a huge thanks to everyone who spent their beautiful, sunny Sunday afternoon being stewards of our environment, and special thanks to our partner Debris Free Oceans for combining forces with us to educate the community on marine pollution and sustainability.