Monthly Margaret Pace Cleanup
September 3rd, 2023
On Sunday, September 3rd, 2023, The International SeaKeepers Society hosted a beach cleanup at Margaret Pace Park, one of our monthly cleanup locations. 15 volunteers joined us on this breezy morning to clean as much of the park as possible, especially along the rocky shoreline separating the park from Biscayne Bay. Some volunteers came back with odd things like a pool noodle, a plastic adirondack chair, and a cushion from a boat, while others spent the entirety of the cleanup removing microplastics from the rocks on the shoreline. By the end of the cleanup, we collected over 107 lbs of debris from the park. By removing this debris early, we can intercept it before it enters the bay due to wind or rain, and thus prevent the entanglement of marine creatures. Although this is a great step in the right direction, refusing to purchase or accept plastic products is a sure way to prevent them from polluting our waterways. We are so grateful to all of our volunteers for coming out to keep our bay clean for its inhabitants and for future generations to enjoy.
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, 80% of volunteers participated in using the app to record data.