Volunteers Remove Over 8,000 Pounds of Litter and Marine Debris

Posted on November 11, 2016

PALM CITY — Nearly 2,000 volunteers removed more than 8,000 pounds of litter and marine debris from local rivers, beaches and waterways throughout Martin County during  Keep Martin Beautiful’s 21st annual International Coastal Cleanup.

This year, the Ocean Conservancy created a mobile app called Clean Swell to help with the cleanup efforts. With Clean Swell, individuals were able to log the trash they found while at the beach quickly and easily on their mobile phones. This information was then automatically uploaded to the world’s largest marine debris database and is then used by industry leaders to take action and ensure trash never reaches the beach.

Keep Martin Beautiful had a record-breaking number of pre-registered volunteers, an 11 percent increase from the past year. Meanwhile, the total amount of litter collected decreased by nearly 25 percent.

Approximately 6,270 cigarette butts were found strewn about Martin County’s beaches and parks, representing about 35 percent of all of the trash collected by item. Other large contributors to litter and marine debris included 1,925 plastic bottle caps, about 830 plastic bottles, and more than 500 plastic bags. A few of this year’s strangest finds included a wind chime, a TV, colored pencils, and a toilet seat.

Volunteers gathered for Keep Martin Beautiful’s volunteer appreciation event at Stuart Beach and enjoyed a family-friendly celebration.

Sponsors and community supporters of the 2016 International Coastal Cleanup include: Amerisweeps; Ampersand Shirt Shack; Captec Engineering; the City of Stuart; Cook Electric Inc.; Florida Inland Navigation District; The Firefly Group; Hutchinson Shores Resort & Spa; Jenkins Landscape; Kinane Printing; Kohl’s; Live with Grace; Martin County; Organic Laboratories Inc.; Reich, Mancini & Zequeria; Rocky’s Ace Hardware; Sailor’s Return; Subway; Surfing’s Evolution & Preservation Foundation; Treasure Coast Newspapers/TCPalm; Wallace Nissan; and Whiticar Boat Works.

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