The Marine Industries Association of South Florida (MIASF) recently shared the results of the 45th Annual Broward County Waterway Cleanup. Organized by MIASF and presented by the Florida Inland Navigational District (F.I.N.D.), this annual cleanup tradition is Broward’s largest and longest-running environmental event and began in the 1970s with the mission of ensuring residents and visitors can continue to enjoy our local waterways.
On Saturday, March 5, more than 1,100 volunteers gathered across more than 35 sites throughout Broward County to donate their time cleaning up our waterways, parks, and communities. Participants took part in the event by both land and boat, with more than 320 participants cleaning up our waterways on a personal watercraft. In total, more than 20 tons of trash was cleaned up across the county. Among some of the more unique items cleaned up included two cars, a boat, a guitar, and a large gold chain.
To thank volunteers for all their hard work, MIASF hosted its Trash Bash, the annual post-event celebration, at the Lauderdale Small Boat Club. This party gathers all volunteers, ranging in ages from 2 to 87, to come together and celebrate all that was achieved together that day with food and drinks, live music, and raffles. This party was sponsored by Clean Waterways and featured a live demonstration of their protein skimmer that is most recently known for cleaning the Himmarshee Canal. Additionally, Broward County Mayor Michael Udine also took the opportunity to come by and thank all involved for their dedication and commitment to keeping Broward clean.
“While taking care of our environment is a priority 365 days a year, it is exciting to bring the community together on this one day with the mission of cleaning our waterways.” noted MIASF Vice President, Lori Wheeler, “This event creates the impact it does because of all of our incredibly passionate volunteers. It’s amazing to see the community come together, year after year, for a cause bigger than ourselves.”
In addition to the Waterway Cleanup, MIASF hosts recycled-art, short story, and essay contests that awards more than $1,000 in scholarship money to Broward County middle school and high school students. This year’s scholarship recipients include:
- Essay Contest: $500 – Jonah Basi
- Short-Story Contest: $250 – Alexandra Greenberg
- Recycled-Art Contest: $300 (First Place) – Kyle Lafrance
- Recycled-Art Contest: $200 (Second Place) – Johnaya Genestant
- Recycled-Art Contest: $100 (Third Place) – Brooklyn Ung-Pineiro