MIASF indicates successful start for annual waterway cleanup

On March 6 and 7, approximately 800 volunteers participated in the kick-off weekend of the 44th Annual 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 first weekend of the Broward County Waterway Cleanup resulted in the collection of over 4,000 pounds of trash and debris from over 34 sites across the county. Volunteers, ranging in age from young children to adults, participated on land and in water with 90 vessels, including boats, kayaks, and paddleboards.

Instead of the traditional one-day event, this year’s Waterway Cleanup kicked-off on March 6 and will run each weekend throughout the month of March, at more than 30 official locations across Broward County. The goal is to alleviate crowding on any one day or at any one clean-up site. Participants may also choose to clean up in their local neighborhood. All cleanup activity is being collected and reported using Ocean Conservancy’s Clean Swell app, a free app available from the App Store or Google Play, on any mobile device.

“This event is what it is because of our incredibly dedicated volunteers,” commented MIASF director of membership & events, Nicole Hoekstra. “Even with all of the changes we implemented this year due to the health and safety concerns of the ongoing pandemic, our volunteers still were excited to participate and make a difference in our community. The annual Broward County Waterway Cleanup is the perfect day to come together safely and celebrate all that Broward County has to offer while keeping it clean.”  

In addition to the Waterway Cleanup, MIASF hosts middle school and high school recycled-art, essay, and short-story contests each year. Multiple scholarships were awarded, and this year’s winners are:

  • $500 Essay Contest Winner: Jovan Alfonzo, Pembroke Pines Charter High School
  • $250 Short Story Contest Winner: Natalie Alfonso, New River Middle School
  • $100 Short Story Contest Honorable Mention: Miles Derrico, New River Middle School
  • $250 1st Place Middle School Recycled-Art Contest Winner: Keira Fahy, New River Middle School
  • $150 2nd Place Middle School Recycled-Art Contest: Sterling Roesch, New River Middle School
  • $100 3rd Place Middle School Recycled-Art Contest: Zofia Chmielewska, North Broward Prepatory School

Sponsors of the Broward County Waterway Cleanup included Broward County, Rolly Marine, Advanced Mechanical Enterprises, City of Fort Lauderdale, Coral Springs Improvement District, CRYC Sailing & Water Sports Foundation, Derecktor Shipyard, Dometic, Environmental Marine, Florida Inland Navigation District, Harbour Towne Marina, Henry B. Thomas, LLC, IsoFlex, JM Family Enterprises, Land and Sea, Lauderdale Isles Water Management District, National Save the Sea Turtle Foundation, City of Oakland Park, Rush Roll-Off, Starbrite, The Chappell Group, Water Taxi, and Wright Maritime Group.

Volunteers still have three more weekends to get outside and participate in this great event. If you plan to participate, you must pre-register online atwww.waterwaycleanup.org/find-a-site

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Mark the calendar for next year’s cleanup on Saturday, March 5, 2022! For more information, visit www.waterwaycleanup.org.

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