On March 2, more than 1,400 volunteers participated in the 42nd Broward County Waterway Cleanup, the county’s largest and longest-running environmental event. Presented by the Florida Inland Navigation District (F.I.N.D.) and organized by the Marine Industries Association of South Florida (MIASF), the Broward County Waterway Cleanup resulted in the collection of 35 tons of trash and debris from 38 sites across the county. Volunteers, ranging in age from one to 87, participated on land and in water with 161 vessels, including boats, kayaks, and paddleboards.
MIASF Event Coordinator, Nicole Hoekstra, noted that many long-term volunteers commented that the waterways are getting cleaner. “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,” she said.
Following the cleanup, volunteers were invited to attend the Trash Bash Thank You party sponsored by 4Ocean where participants were treated to live music, free food and beverages, and more than a dozen raffle prizes.
In addition to the Waterway Cleanup, MIASF hosts middle school and high school recycled-art, essay, and short-story contests each year. Multiple scholarships are awarded during the Trash Bash, and this year’s winners are:
- $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.
Volunteers are encouraged to mark their calendars for next year’s Broward County Waterway Cleanup on Saturday, March 7th. For more information, visit www.waterwaycleanup.org.