Marine debris affects coastal ecosystems in the Florida Keys and in communities across the nation. Human-generated litter can degrade ecosystems and endanger wildlife and habitats with negative consequences for coastal communities and their economies. Items including single-use plastics, aluminum cans, derelict fishing traps and fishing line, and plastic foam can litter our oceans and waterways.
Volunteers Have Removed 900 Pounds of Marine Debris from Lignumvitae Key Aquatic Preserve
The Keep Lignumvitae Lovely Project was formed in 2020 to address marine debris issues within the 7,500-acre Lignumvitae Key Aquatic Preserve adjacent to Islamorada, Florida. Lignumvitae Key Aquatic Preserve offers free public beaches and boat access points south of Miami, that host large numbers of visitors annually. This can result in the accumulation of marine debris and coastal litter.
The Keep Lignumvitae Lovely Project incorporates volunteer opportunities such as cleanups, seagrass monitoring, and outreach and community engagement events. The project team works with community leaders to spread awareness of the negative impacts of marine debris and the importance of cleanup efforts, and it encourages the use of recyclable products.
Top 10 debris items found in Lignumvitae Key Aquatic Preserve are: plastic bags, fishing line, fishing rope, aluminum cans, plastic foam, plastic bottles, cigarette butts, glass bottles, miscellaneous plastics and microplastics.
Join the Keep Lignumvitae Lovely Team!
Participate in a cleanup project and help us track our impact by completing our survey.
No volunteer groups near you? Start one yourself. When organizing a cleanup club keep these steps in mind:
- No volunteer groups near you? Start one yourself. When organizing a cleanup club keep these steps in mind
- Make the event convenient for your participants! Start by inviting people you know and grow from there.
- Be sure that you and your team are prepared: Use bags or buckets for trash, gloves for messy or potentially hazardous waste, and clean your hands frequently.
- Track your cleanup! Use tools such as the Marine Debris Tracker app to record the positive impact your team is making! This is a great way to raise public awareness, increase participation and join a global citizen science initiative.
- Make it fun! Be sure to keep your group engaged. Make competitions out of cleanup days, meet for lunch after volunteering or find others way to make the experience enjoyable for all!