The sun was up bright and early in Miami, FL this past weekend - and so was our 4Ocean team and all of the volunteers who came out to make a difference! At Saturday's cleanup we focused our attention and cleanup efforts in Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park. Situated just at the tip of Key Biscayne, Bill Baggs consists of 400 acres of beach, mangrove ecosystems, picnic areas, walking and biking trails, and much more. With more than a 1 mile stretch of sand, locals and tourists flock to Bill Baggs on the weekends for all the park has to offer.
Volunteers not only cleaned the beach that is home to the historic Cape Florida Lighthouse, but also the protected mangrove areas that unfortunately accumulate much of the trash that is left behind at the park. Expedition South Florida was generous enough to rent out kayaks to volunteers to maneuver through the mangrove areas to collect more trash that could not be reached on land.
By the end of the morning we collected a total of 501.8 pounds of trash. That's over 500 pounds of ocean-bound trash that will never pose a threat to the marine environment or the animals who call the ocean home!
We would like to thank not only the volunteers who came out to help clean but also the Park Rangers for all of their assistance, Friends of Cape Florida for providing food and refreshments at the end of the cleanup, and everyone else who helped to make this cleanup as successful as it was.
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As we got closer to the ocean floor, we began to approach a reef; this reef was nothing short of epic. The colours were bright and everything appeared to be healthy with marine life flourishing... that was until the current changed. Within seconds, this heaving reef became surrounded with plastic and rubbish.