TCPalm: Keep Martin Beautiful coastal cleanup to be Sept. 16

Posted on August 22, 2017

By Pat Austin, for TCPalm

Each year, for the past 21 years, on the third Saturday of September, Martin County residents have had a way to think globally and act locally to help the waterways.

With the 2017 International Coastal Cleanup quickly approaching, Keep Martin Beautiful urges residents to participate in this cleanup event and make a difference on Saturday, September 16 from 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

Last year in Martin County, nearly 2,000 volunteers combined forces to remove over 8,000 pounds of litter and marine debris. Coordinated at the global level by the Ocean Conservancy, nearly one million volunteers throughout the world also took part in the 2016 Cleanup on the same day to remove marine debris that is a hazard to marine life, wildlife and people as well.

“This year it’s easier than ever to become a volunteer through the new online registration platform on our website,” explained Tiffany Smith, Keep Martin Beautiful’s outreach coordinator. “You just go the International Coastal Cleanup tab under programs, click the large ‘I want to volunteer’ button and volunteers can sign up, choose the location they want to clean and reserve supplies.”

Advance registration is encouraged but not required to help ensure that all of Martin County’s waterways receive some attention from volunteers. A general cleanup of Stuart Beach makes it easy for drop-ins to participate at the last minute.

Stuart Beach is also the location for the Volunteer Appreciation Celebration from 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. There will be food, beverages, music, and fun, family-friendly activities for Keep Martin Beautiful’s volunteers, sponsors, and community supporters to enjoy.

“The International Coastal Cleanup is by far the largest water-related cleanup event in Martin County, and we are inspired every year by our long-time volunteers who are part of the event as well as the new faces we see,” said Craig Ahal, president of Keep Martin Beautiful. “It’s especially encouraging when we see all the young kids with their parents and grandparents as well as the school youth groups and clubs joining us to clean our waterways. The challenges facing the health of our lagoon, rivers and beaches are generational and these young faces are the future leaders in Martin County.”

2017 International Coastal Cleanup sponsor, include: Budget Dumpster; The City of Stuart; Cook Electric, Inc.; Crary Buchanan; Continental Shelf Associates; Ecological Associates, Inc.; Florida Inland Navigational District; The Firefly Group; Jenkin's Landscape; Kohl’s; Live with Grace; Lucido & Associates; Martin County Board of County Commissioners; METCo, Marine Electronics of the Treasure Coast; The MilCor Group; Mingace Custom Sound, Inc.; Piper's Landing Yacht & Country Club; Reich & Mancini, P.A.; Safe & Sound Storage; Sailor's Return; Surfing Evolution & Preservation Foundation; Wallace Auto Group; and Whiticar Boat Works.

For more information about the 2017 International Coastal Cleanup, or to register your family, business, civic or school group, contact Keep Martin Beautiful at 772-781-1222 or


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