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Organizers happy with South Florida waterway cleanup

The Marine Industries Association of South Florida, organizer and sponsor of Broward County's largest environmental cleanup event, saw more than 1,700 volunteers come to 30 countywide sites to participate in the Broward County Waterway Cleanup.

The March 1 event, which was presented by the Florida Inland Navigation District, successfully removed 17.9 tons of trash from waterways, rivers and canals in its 37th year, organizers said.

The most unusual items found at this year's event were a 3-foot tall African carving found by the SeaCadets, a life preserver that read Titanic, logo-adorned restaurant plates and parts of a swing set.

"We could not have planned a more perfect day for this annual event. The weather was absolutely beautiful, which encourages volunteer participation,” MIASF marketing director Lacie Randall said in a statement. “The more volunteers, the more debris is removed, it's really that simple, and our volunteers are some of the best around. We even have a few families that plan their vacations around this event, and we are grateful for their service.”

The Dania Beach Pier served as the site of the post-event celebration, aptly named the Trash Bash. Dania Beach Mayor Walter Duke was on hand to thank volunteers as they enjoyed food and drinks from Quarterdeck and to congratulate MIASF scholarship winners.

Amber Lockhart, of New River Middle School, Rudinah Cadet, of Broward High School, and Abigail Mellinger were recipients of scholarship money for their efforts in the Waterway Cleanup Short Story, Essay, and Friend of Nature contests, respectively.

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