Treasure Coast Waterway Cleanup Goes Virtual

The Donaldson family in Sebastian at last year’s event. Photo credit: MIATC.

The annual Treasure Coast Waterway Cleanup has removed 87.2 tons of trash from the waterways of the Treasure Coast. This year the event will be held on Saturday, July 25.

“If we’re lucky, it will be safe to open our cleanup sites,” says April Price, event coordinator. “Regardless, we will have a week-long virtual cleanup that we will launch on Saturday, July 18 with the start of our annually proclaimed Treasure Coast Waterway Cleanup Week.”

With a goal to reduce the event’s carbon footprint, the Marine Industries Association of the Treasure Coast (MIATC), began development of an online data recording component, which allows volunteers to record trash results from their home computer or smart device.

“Our virtual cleanup initiative makes it possible for MIATC members and community partners to borrow reusable supplies and conduct cleanups on their behalf all year around. We report the results to more than a dozen local and state agencies and non-profits annually”, explains Price.  “Little did we know when we began this year’s planning that we would be dealing with Covid-19. Fortunately, our planning gives us the capacity to operate the cleanup effort remotely. We know that 45% of our volunteers are in the high-risk group for Covid-19. Many of our clubs and service organizations that come out each year are senior citizens. This program permits these groups to conduct their cleanup effort when they are ready to resume normal activities. We will make the decision on which sites we can open around the July Fourth holiday. During the Treasure Coast Waterway Cleanup week, trash grabbers will be available at marina facilities throughout the Treasure Coast for boaters to borrow. Stay tuned to our website and Facebook page for those announcements,” says Price.

Volunteers are encouraged to pre-register whether they plan to show up at a site or choose the social distancing option of the virtual cleanup. The event’s traditional T-shirts will still be available to volunteers, along with a commemorative burgee for boats and watercraft.

Cleanup participants are encouraged to photograph their efforts so they can be shared on the event website and Facebook page. If volunteers signs up for a site that cannot be opened, they will then be contacted by the cleanup team to direct them to the closest opened site or set them up for a virtual cleanup. All participants will be asked to wear a facemask to the site check-in.

Corporate sponsorships are still available.  For more information visit contact April Price, (772) 285-1646 or go to www.tcwaterwaycleanup.com.

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