The Marine Industries Association of South Florida, organizer and sponsor of Broward’s largest environmental event, is pleased to announce that on Saturday, March 5 over 1,180 volunteers came by land and in 60 boats to 24 sites to participate in the 34thÂ Annual Waterway Cleanup presented by the Florida Inland Navigation District, successfully removing 18.6 tons of trash from Broward’s waterways, rivers and canals.
"We are very proud of the strong effort put forth by Waterway Cleanup volunteers across Broward County today," said Melanie Daily, PR & Events Coordinator for MIASF. "Despite some scattered showers we still had a great turnout and a successful clean-up, which is a testament to the dedication of our hardworking volunteers."
The most unusual items found at this year’s event were a submerged parking meter near Anne Kolb Nature Center and a shopping cart from the defunct department store chain Jefferson Ward found in the City of Oakland Park. The Cleanup’s oldest volunteer was 87 year-old Nelo Conrade who volunteered at John U. Lloyd State Park
The Lauderdale Small Boat Club served as the host of this year’s press conference, and its staff provided attendees with a first-hand example of how a Waterway Cleanup site works by helping to unload boatloads of trash collected by volunteers.
Florida Inland Navigation District Commissioner Tyler Chappell spoke on behalf of FIND, highlighting how the event helps to further FIND’s mission of maintaining the Intracoastal Waterway and strengthens the organization’s partnership with MIASF and Broward County. City of Fort Lauderdale Mayor Jack Seiler spoke of his long-time involvement volunteering at the event and credited our volunteers for their service to both Fort Lauderdale and to the County as a whole. City of Fort Lauderdale Vice Mayor Romney Rogers also thanked the event’s volunteers for their service and stressed the importance of the event for helping preserve the area’s reputation as an attractive boating destination for locals and visitors alike.
MIASF’s Director of Marketing Lacie Randall presented the Group Year-Round Environmental Stewardship Award to the Oakland Park Kiwanis Club for their efforts to keep their adopted canal in Oakland Park clean by conducting regular clean-ups and raising awareness of the need to care for our waterway system among the area’s residents. John U Lloyd State Park Director Carmen Duesler presented the Individual Year-Round Environmental Stewardship Award to Carl "Hollywood Carl" Ignacuinos for his financial donations and volunteer service to the park as well as his stewardship of a ten mile block of beaches and boardwalk in Hollywood Beach.
Specially designed commemorative Merit Badges will be awarded to over 150 Girl Scouts that participated in this year’s event. To promote awareness of our South Florida marine environment, writing contests on Waterway Cleanup and marine habitat conservation were conducted at two of MIASF’s marine magnet partner schools. Joseline Velarde, a 12thÂ grader at South Broward High School won the annual essay contest. She will receive a $500 scholarship check and have her essay printed in the MIASF NewsletterÂ Tides & Currents. New River Middle School 7thÂ grader Jessery Picard won the annual short story contest and will receive a $250 savings bond.
Sponsors of the 34th Annual Waterway Cleanup presented by the Florida Inland Navigation District include Publix Super Markets, Broward County Environmental Protection & Growth Management Department, Broward County Waste & Recycling Services, Keep Broward Beautiful, North Springs Improvement District, Coral Springs Improvement District, Southeast Florida Coral Reef Initiative, National Save the Sea Turtle Foundation, Choice Environmental, Dumpster King, FlexSol, South Florida Water Management District, Lauderdale Isles Water Management District, City of Fort Lauderdale, City of Oakland Park, City of Coconut Creek, Florida Power & Light.
The MIASF is a not-for-profit trade organization created in 1961 to promote and protect the sound growth of the marine industry in South Florida for the benefit and education of its members, the community and the environment. The Association has 800 members in Broward, Miami-Dade, and Palm Beach Counties and is the owner of the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show.
For additional details on the Waterway Cleanup, The Year-Round Environmental Stewardship Awards, the Waterway Cleanup Writing Competitions, the Girl Scout Badge, or the MIASF contact Public Relations and Event Coordinator Melanie Daily atÂ (954) 524-2733Â or visit www.waterwaycleanup.org.