SeaKeepers North Bay Village Cleanup

Miami, Florida
May 9, 2024


On Thursday, May 9, 2024, The International SeaKeepers Society partnered with Moda North Bay Village to host a coastal cleanup on North Bay Village. We were joined by 15 volunteers this evening who shared the goal of collecting trash from the residential part of the island to prevent it from entering Biscayne Bay and becoming marine debris. After an instructional and safety briefing, our volunteers set out with reusable bags, buckets, gloves and cleanup tongs in search of trash, with some using nets to remove debris from the water. Within two hours, our volunteers brought back tons of trash, including large debris like a fan and a wooden plank, and lots of small debris like bottle caps and cigarette butts. Their hard work resulted in over 118 pounds of trash collected and properly disposed of, preventing it from entering the water and endangering marine life. Data collected using Marine Debris Tracker told us that the most commonly picked up items were cigarette butts, food wrappers and plastic fragments. We are grateful to all our volunteers who came out to help and to Moda North Bay Village for hosting us!

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, 13% of volunteers participated in using the app to record data.

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