Keep Martin Beautiful waves goodbye to littered beaches during ICC

Posted on September 15, 2017


Each year, for the past 21 years, on the third Saturday of September, Martin County residents have had a way to think globally and act locally to help our waterways.  With the 2017 International Coastal Cleanup quickly approaching, Keep Martin Beautiful urges residents to participate in this cleanup event and make a difference on Saturday, September 16 from 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

Last year in Martin County, nearly 2,000 volunteers combined forces to remove over 8,000 pounds of litter and marine debris. Coordinated at the global level by the Ocean Conservancy, nearly one million volunteers throughout the world also took part in the 2016 Cleanup on the same day to remove marine debris that is a hazard to marine life, wildlife and people as well.

“This year it’s easier than ever to become a volunteer through the new online registration platform on our website,” explained Tiffany Smith, Keep Martin Beautiful’s outreach coordinator.  “You just go the International Coastal Cleanup tab under programs, click the large ‘I want to volunteer’ button and volunteers can sign up, choose the location they want to clean and reserve supplies.”  Advance registration is encouraged but not required to help ensure that all of Martin County’s waterways receive some attention from volunteers.  A general cleanup of Stuart Beach makes it easy for drop-ins to participate at the last minute.  Stuart Beach is also the location for the Volunteer Appreciation Celebration from 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.  There will be food, beverages, music, and fun, family-friendly activities for Keep Martin Beautiful’s volunteers, sponsors, and community supporters to enjoy.

Another new technological feature of this year’s International Coastal Cleanup is the Clean Swell™ app. Launched last year, Clean Swell™ provides an easy, fast, and effective way to track litter found by volunteers and instantly send the information to the world’s largest marine debris database. This information is then used by scientists, conservationists, and many more to take action, determine the cause of litter in areas, and strive to ensure that trash never reaches our waters again.

“The International Coastal Cleanup is by far the largest water-related cleanup event in Martin County, and we are inspired every year by our long-time volunteers who are part of the event as well as the new faces we see,” said Craig Ahal, president of Keep Martin Beautiful. “It’s especially encouraging when we see all the young kids with their parents and grandparents as well as the school youth groups and clubs joining us to clean our waterways.  The challenges facing the health of our lagoon, rivers and beaches are generational and these young faces are the future leaders in Martin County.”

The cleanup plays a vital role in raising awareness and educating the community about the issues and dangers associated with debris and trash. By working hands-on at their local beaches, rivers, and waterways, members of the community get up close and personal with the trash and debris and are truly able to see the dangers and problems that they pose. We challenge citizens to change behaviors relating to pollution and litter and make greener, cleaner decisions.

Keep Martin Beautiful would like to thank our many sponsors for their support of the 2017 International Coastal Cleanup, which include: Budget Dumpster; The City of Stuart; Cook Electric, Inc.; Crary Buchanan; Continental Shelf Associates; Ecological Associates, Inc.; Florida Inland Navigational District; The Firefly Group; Jenkin's Landscape; Kohl’s; Live with Grace; Lucido & Associates; Martin County Board of County Commissioners; METCo, Marine Electronics of the Treasure Coast; The MilCor Group; Mingace Custom Sound, Inc.; Piper's Landing Yacht & Country Club; Reich & Mancini, P.A.; Safe & Sound Storage; Sailor's Return; Surfing Evolution & Preservation Foundation; Wallace Auto Group; and Whiticar Boat Works.

What Volunteers Need to Know

·        The International Coastal Cleanup targets waterways throughout Martin County, from Lake Okeechobee to the Atlantic Ocean and everywhere in   between

·        Pre-registration is highly recommended to ensure volunteers are assigned to areas most in need

·        Volunteers who don’t pre-register can still join Keep Martin Beautiful at Stuart Beach on the morning of the cleanup

·        The unique data-gathering feature of this cleanup records every piece of litter collected

·        Volunteers should wear closed-toed shoes

·        Participants will be provided with water and cleanup supplies, as well as a complimentary T-shirt (while supplies last)

For more information about the 2017 International Coastal Cleanup, or to register your family, business, civic or school group, contact Keep Martin Beautiful at 772-781-1222 or info@keepmartinbeautiful.org.

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