SeaKeepers Monthly Morningside Park Cleanup

Miami, Florida
May 19, 2024


On Sunday, May 19, 2024, The International SeaKeepers Society returned to Morningside Park, one of our monthly cleanup locations. Thanks to our partner Morningside Watersports, volunteers were given the opportunity to participate in the cleanup by renting a kayak or paddle board and paddling to a nearby picnic island with gear to bring back trash to be disposed of properly. We were joined by 37 volunteers who grabbed buckets, bags, cleanup tongs and gloves and headed out to clean the park’s grass, the rocky shoreline, and the nearby islands. Due to the coastal location of this park, all the trash collected would likely have ended up within the bay, endangering our local marine life that may eat it or become tangled in it. Despite the heat, our volunteers got to work and returned with bags and buckets full of debris, big and small. Volunteers that used Marine Debris Tracker generated data that allowed us to better understand what types of debris are common in this location, and of the 66 pounds collected during the cleanup, the most frequently collected items were plastic fragments, paper pieces and bottle caps. We are grateful to Morningside Watersports for offering our volunteers the opportunity to paddle, and to our volunteers for their hard work!

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, 37% of volunteers participated in using the app to record data.

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