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Broward County Waterway Cleanup collects 35 tons of trash

All forms of boats were used to help pick up trash and debris. Photo by Anne Kolb.

All forms of boats were used to help pick up trash and debris. Photo by Anne Kolb.

On March 2, more than 1,400 volunteers participated in the 42 Broward County Waterway Cleanup. Presented by the Florida Inland Navigation District and the Marine Industries Association of South Florida, the cleanup is the largest and longest-running environmental volunteer project in the region.

Volunteers picked up 35 tons of trash and debris from 38 sites across Broward County. The volunteers raged in age from one to 87 years old. They participated on land and in water with 161 vessels including boats, kayaks and paddleboards.

“The good news is that Broward Countians are dedicated to protecting their environment and keeping the waterways clean throughout the year and the Waterway Cleanup reinforces and celebrates that good work,” Nicole Hoekstra, MIASF event coordinator, said in a statement.

Following the cleanup, volunteers were invited to the Trash Bash Thank You party sponsored by 4Ocean where participants listened to live music and enjoyed free food and beverages. Next year’s event Broward County Waterway Cleanup will take place on March 7.

As part of the cleanup, MIASF hosts middle and high-school recycled-art, essay and short story contests. This year’s winners were presented during the Trash Bash and are listed as follows:

  • $500 Essay Contest Winner: Henry Hill of South Broward High School
  • $250 Short Story Contest Winner: Rachel Rubinstein of New River Middle School
  • $250 High School Recycled-Art Contest Winners: Cali Harris of South Broward High School and Yingying Zhu of Pines Charter High School
  • $250 Middle School Recycled-Art Contest Winner: Connor Fahy of New River Middle

Sponsors of the Broward County Waterway Cleanup included Broward County, JM Family Enterprises, National Save the Sea Turtles Foundation, FB Marine Group, Harbour Towne Marina, Oakland Park, Trac Ecological, Derecktor Shipyard, Lauderdale Isles Water Management District, The Chappell Group, Dometic, Coastal Tank, Boatsetter, Environmental Marine, Margate Waterfront Foundation, City of Margate, Wright Maritime Group, Coral Springs Improvement District, Gold Coast Marine Distributors, Lauderdale Small Boat Club, City of Fort Lauderdale, Bluewater Yachting (USA), Pier 66 Marina, Dumpster King, and Rush Roll-off and Recycling.

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