On a recent visit to Miami, Florida, Lexi and Olivia had the opportunity to meet with the organizers of Clean Miami Beach. This project, led by Sophie (the founder) and Mandy, is an impressive effort in reducing and raising awareness about marine debris. Through public and private clean-up events, they engage thousands of people in beach clean-ups and education. We loved the opportunity to connect with fellow trash warriors, learn all about their experience, and share stories about our coastal clean-ups and Rubbish Project events. Next time you head somewhere new, reach out to those making a difference and lend a litter-picking hand!
We met Sophie and Mandy on a Friday morning at a small residential park along Biscayne Bay. There was an outflow pipe here that carries debris, both natural and non-natural, from inland streets into the bay through storm drains. Basically whenever it rains, significant amounts of litter is washed into the bay. This is heightened when the streets flood as the water is actually pumped off the streets during those incidents. All this litter is washed by tides and waves up the shoreline and it becomes tangled in mangrove trees. This was the case in the area where we cleaned up together. So much trash! The most common item was plastic bottle caps, although there were several wrappers, styrofoam pieces, straws, and small fragments.
Despite the staggering amount of debris we witnessed, we left feeling inspired by the efforts of organizers and volunteers making a difference in plastic pollution. While it is true that we can’t beach clean-up our way out of this mess, it is an important and impactful step that opens the door for further education and advocacy, as well as individual and collective action. Keep it up, litter-pickers!
Check out this video of our clean-up with Clean Miami Beach: watch now!