Monthly Morningside Park Cleanup

Miami, Florida
January 6, 2024


On January 6th, 2024, The International SeaKeepers Society hosted our first cleanup of the year at one of our regular locations, Morningside Park. We were joined by 35 volunteers who set out to clean as much of the park as they could, including its rocky shoreline and mangrove roots that separate it from Biscayne Bay. After a month of high wind and rains, lots of trash from within the park and the surrounding streets had been carried toward the bay, and we were determined to remove it before it became marine debris. Over the course of the cleanup, some volunteers brought back endless bags and buckets filled with small items like bottle caps, cigarette butts and plastic and styrofoam fragments, while others teamed up to remove large pieces of fiberglass and wood from the shallow water and shoreline and haul them over to us. Volunteers were encouraged to take part in our Marine Science Trivia Jenga when they brought back a full bag or bucket in order to test their knowledge about ocean conservation and pollution. All of the material collected resulted in a final weight of over 200 pounds of debris that was removed and disposed of properly to avoid the contamination of our bay. We are so grateful to all of the volunteers who came to do their part and we look forward to another year of coastal cleanups!

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, 49% of volunteers participated in using the app to record data.

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