Monthly Margaret Pace Park Cleanup

Miami, Florida
August 19, 2023


On Saturday, August 19th, The International SeaKeepers Society hosted a cleanup at Margaret Pace Park, one of our monthly cleanup locations. We had 13 volunteers join us to collect as much trash as possible from the park’s grassy areas, as well as the rocks and mangroves on the shoreline. Margaret Pace Park is a popular location for many people to recreate on weekend mornings, and we were excited to see how many local people were enthusiastic to join us. Unfortunately, the park’s proximity to the coast allows for all garbage that accumulates to enter Biscayne Bay, especially after many days of rain. Over the course of the cleanup, our volunteers filled 6 trash bags with debris, accumulating to 52.8 pounds of trash! Among the items collected, bottle caps and plastic fragments were the most common. The size of these pieces of debris makes them particularly harmful to marine mammals, fish and birds that may ingest them, which is why we strive to clean coastal areas where litter can easily be washed into the bay. We are so grateful to all of the volunteers who joined us to leave Margaret Pace Park a little bit cleaner.

Outing Goal

Marine Debris Tracker is a data collection app that allows the general public to contribute to an open-date platform and scientific research by recording the different types of litter, specifically plastic pollution, that they find in either inland or marine environments. Marine Debris Tracker was developed by the University of Georgia’s Jambeck Research Group, which SeaKeepers worked with in 2021 when the Jambeck Research Group collaborated with Ocean Conservancy to assess Miami’s plastic waste management, known as a Circularity Assessment Protocol. SeaKeepers again assisted the Jambeck Research Group’s Circularity Informatics Lab in 2022 with another Circularity Assessment Protocol in the Florida Keys.

The researchers of the Jambeck Lab use the Marine Debris Tracker app to record their data, and with citizen scientists also using the app, more data can be collected in different areas. Using Marine Debris Tracker at our cleanups involves community members in creating a bigger picture of plastic pollution, and provides the means for new scientific findings to be generated as well as for effective local legislation to be informed. SeaKeepers is excited to be incorporating this app at our cleanups and continue our mission of coastal education, protection, and restoration. In this cleanup, 38% of volunteers participated in using the app to record data.

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