Monthly Morningside Park Cleanup
April 2, 2023
On Sunday, April 1st, 2023, The International SeaKeepers Society hosted a cleanup at Morningside Park. After a week of rain, we were curious to see how much trash, and what types of trash had been washed up onto one of our favorite locations. 44 volunteers were able to remove 90 pounds of trash from the park’s mangroves, fields, parking lot, and coastline. Some of the most numerous pollution items found included plastic bags, straws, and bottle caps. This is our 3rd visit to this site this year, and so far 333 pounds have been removed from Morningside alone!
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.