Where Blue Meets Green
National sales director James Maitland and the Fort Lauderdale Young Professionals in Yachting joined with local volunteers for the 2019 Broward County Waterway Cleanup.
Organized by the Marine Industries Association of South Florida (MIASF), the Broward County Waterway Cleanup and Trash Bash is the country’s largest and longest-running environmental event of its kind. This year’s edition was held on Saturday, March 2, carrying on a tradition that began in the late 1970s with the goal of protecting the area’s waterways to benefit the community and the marine industry as a whole.
The Broward chapter of grassroots environmental organization Surfrider was among this year's volunteers.
In 2018, more than 1,200 volunteers gathered over 32 tons of trash and debris from 31 Broward County locations, including waterways, rivers and canals. The all-ages effort was twofold, with crews combing coastal areas on foot supported by more than 100 boats.
More than 160 boats of all sizes supported teams on foot.
This year’s event was yet another resounding success, drawing more than 1,400 volunteers and 160-plus boats deployed at 38 sites throughout Broward County, home to nearly 2 million people and Florida’s second most populous county after Miami-Dade. A whopping 35 tons of trash were collected! James was the site coordinator at Dania Beach, sponsored by Trac Ecological, and he and the YPY team rolled out the Oceanmax tent and some fun Star Wars getups to support the ground forces.
Dumpster King was among the cleanup's many sponsors, helping haul away 35 tons of trash!
Members of the local government also rolled up their sleeves to lend a hand. Hollywood Mayor Josh Levy; Fort Lauderdale Commissioner Heather Moraitis; Oakland Park Commissioners Michael Carn, Tim Lonergan, and Jane Bolin; and Coral Springs Commissioner Joshua Simmons all joined the cleanup effort.
Four hours of hard work later, the cleanup was celebrated at the Trash Bash, the event’s official afterparty, with food, drinks, music and door prizes. Annual scholarship winners were also announced, with cash prizes awarded to Broward County middle and high school students who submitted waterway-themed essays, short stories and recycled-art projects.
Students from area middle and high schools joined in the effort, with art and writing scholarship winners being announced at the Trash Bash afterparty.
“All of us at MIASF would like to take a moment to say thank you to all of our site coordinators and sponsors. Without their generosity, there is no way such a significant impact could be made in one day! Their commitment ensures South Florida waterways will continue to be the best in the world.”