TREASURE COAST - Volunteers plan to clean 125 miles of waterways in Martin, St. Lucie, and Indian River counties during the 12th annual Treasure Coast Waterway Cleanup on Sat., July 27.
“The waterways in the district can accumulate trash and debris from many sources,” said Janet Zimmerman, assistant executive director for the Florida Inland Navigation District. “FIND sponsors voluntary waterway clean ups in each of the 12 counties in the district with Keep Florida Beautiful affiliates as well as Marine Industry Associations.”
To participate, sign up to volunteer at one of 25 sites on the Treasure Coast. You can sign up as an individual or group of any size. All volunteers will receive an event T-shirt, and watercraft will receive a commemorative burgee to fly.
“Since 2008, we have engaged more than 9,600 volunteers, who together have removed more than 82 tons of trash from the waterways of Martin, St. Lucie and Indian River Counties,” said Logistics Coordinator Valerie Lindh. “We are also excited to be welcoming new sponsors and enhancing our community partnerships. The committee got off to an early start this year, which has allowed us to reach out to more folks and I believe will benefit our sites and volunteers this year.”
The group will seek to surpass their 2018 haul of 5.18 tons of trash collected by 985 people. That included 1.79 tons collected by 271 people in Martin County, 2.21 tons collected by 572 people in St. Lucie County, and 1.18 tons collected by 142 people in Indian River County.
Among the trash collected were 7,644 bottles, cans, plastic and glass beverage containers (4,605 in 2017); 279 articles of clothing (256 in 2017); 1,232 straws (1,257 in 2017); 102 fishing lures (88 in 2017); 102 toys (63 in 2017); 10,202 cigarette butts (13,156 in 2017); six golf balls, one baseball, two basketballs, one football, one soccer ball, and nine tennis balls.
“We believe these cleanup efforts are important not just for the health of the waterway because of the removal of the debris, but they also help to bring together the users of the waterway in a spirit of community, and in a way that fosters environmental awareness,” said Ms. Zimmerman. “These are good projects, and we enjoy sponsoring them up and down the waterway.”
The event is for all ages, and organizers invite group participation by students, service clubs, yacht clubs, and home owners associations.
The cleanup is organized by the Marine Industries Association of the Treasure Coast and sponsored by the Florida Inland Navigation District.
Indian River County: Riverside Park Boat Ramp, 350 Dahlia Lane, Vero Beach; Sebastian Main Street Boat Ramp, Main Street and N. Indian River Dr., Sebastian; Sebastian Inlet Marina, 8685 US Hwy. 1, Micco; Vero Beach Municipal Marina, 3611 Rio Vista Blvd., Vero Beach; Wabasso Causeway Boat Ramp, State Road 510, Wabasso.
In Martin County, cleanup teams are needed for: Indian Riverside Park Boat Ramp, 1707 NE Indian River Dr., Jensen Beach; Jensen Beach Causeway Boat Ramp, 889 NE Causeway Blvd., Jensen Beach; Jimmy Graham Boat Ramp, 8555 SE Gomez Avenue, Hobe Sound; Johnathan Dickinson State Park, 16450 SE Federal Highway, Hobe Sound; Leighton Park Boat Ramp, 2701 SW Cornell Avenue, Palm City; Ocean Blvd. Causeway (Stuart Causeway) Boat Ramp, SE Ocean Blvd., Stuart; Sandsprit Park Boat Ramp, 3443 SE St. Lucie Blvd., Stuart.
There will also be one dive cleanup at Peck Lake Reef in Martin County.
In St. Lucie County, teams will be cleaning up at: C-24 Canal Park Boat Ramp, 500 SE Oakridge Dr., Pt. St. Lucie;
River Park Marina, 500 E. Prima Vista Blvd., Pt. St. Lucie; Veteran's Park at Rivergate, 2200 SE Veteran's Memorial Parkway, Pt. St. Lucie; Causeway Cove Marina, 601 Seaway Dr., Ft. Pierce; Ft. Pierce Yacht Club, 700 N. Indian River Dr., Ft. Pierce; Harbortown Marina, 1936 Harbortown Dr., Ft. Pierce; Jaycee Park Boat Ramp, end of Melaleuca Dr. off South Ocean Blvd., Ft. Pierce; Manatee Center Boat Ramp/Moore's Creek Boat Ramp, 480 N. Indian River Dr., Ft. Pierce; Pelican Yacht Club, 1120 Seaway Dr., Ft. Pierce; Smithsonian Marine Eco Center, So. Causeway Island, 414 Seaway Dr., Ft. Pierce; Stan Blum Boat Ramp, 613 North Beach Causeway, Ft. Pierce; White City Park, 2081 W. Midway Rd., Fort Pierce.
For more information including sponsorships and registration, contact April Price at (772) 285-1646, or visit www.tcwaterwaycleanup.com.