Monthly Margaret Pace Park Cleanup
May 7, 2023
On Sunday, May 7th, 2023, The International SeaKeepers Society hosted a cleanup for the first time at Margaret Pace Park, a beautiful urban park in Greater Downtown that sits right on Biscayne Bay. Though the morning began very gloomy and gray, and the rain did slow the cleaning by about a half hour in the middle of our time there, we were thrilled to still collect 80 pounds from the green of the park, as well as the rocks and mangroves. Only 12 volunteers braved the rain, but what an impressive haul from this small group, not to mention not all of the cleanup was spent cleaning! Even still, while many of us waited out the 30 minute shower under the tent, some courageous highschoolers cleaned throughout the downpour as well. We found some interesting stuff, like a pair of old hiking boots and a terracotta plant saucer. We had so much fun at this new site and are excited to be back for more cleaning. Special thanks to all the volunteers that came to spend their rainy Sunday morning cleaning up the community, we can’t wait to come back!
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, 58 % of volunteers participated in using the app to record data.