Waterway cleanup lures 1,500 volunteers, nets 22 tons of trash March 24, 2016

Volunteers found everything including the kitchen sink at the 39th Annual Broward County Waterway Cleanup on March 5.

More than 1,500 volunteers rounded up 22 tons of trash at this year’s cleanup, up 50 percent from last year. Other finds besides the kitchen sink at Riverside Park included a hand grenade, safe and sand blast helmet, all at Ann Kolb Nature Center.

The Marine Industries Association of South Florida and the Marine Industry Cares Foundation partnered together to host the cleanup, which is in its 39th year and was bigger than ever, with 35 sites throughout the county.

“Our waterways are the lifeblood and currency of our community,” said MIASF Executive Director Phil Purcell. “They are the avenue in which many of us work and play, and they play an important role in our quality of life, and that’s why it’s important to keep them clean.”

The cleanup, presented by the Florida Inland Navigation District, is the county’s largest and longest-running environmental event. Volunteers participated by land, more than 100 boats, kayak and paddleboard. After the event, volunteers were thanked at the Trash Bash at Briny Irish Pub in Fort Lauderdale with food, beverages, live music and raffle prizes.

Fort Lauderdale Mayor Jack Seiler pitched in at the cleanup as well as thanked volunteers and congratulated the winners of the Waterway Cleanup Short Story, Essay, Recycled Art and Friend of Nature scholarship contests. They are:

  • Essay Contest winner – Madeline Trost $500 (South Broward High) Plantation

Essay Contest runner up – Nirkahelia Mendieta $100 (South Broward) Miramar

  • Short Story Contest winner – Antonio Jimenez $250 (New River Middle) Hollywood

Short Story Contest runner up – Hailey McTee $100 (New River) Plantation

  • Art Contest Winner (high school) – Katie Haynick, $250 (South Broward) Hollywood

Art Contest runner up – Angela Norris, $100 (South Broward) Fort Lauderdale

  • Art Contest Winner (middle school) – Haylie Smith $250 (New River) Fort Lauderdale

Art Contest runner up – Emma Bedgood $100 (New River) Pembroke Pines

  • Friends of Nature ($200) – Ryan Ludwig (New River) Fort Lauderdale

Partners include the Broward County Environmental Protection & Growth Management Department, the North Springs Improvement District, Project Anodyne, JM Family Enterprises, the National Save the Sea Turtle Foundation and many others. Save the date for next year’s cleanup, which will be on March 4, 2017! More information is available at

© MIASF 2019 | All rights reserved | Photo credit: J. Christopher Photography

Marine Industries Association of South Florida. 221 SW 3rd Avenue, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33312. Phone: 954.524.2733