Every year as spring approaches, the folks at the Marine Industries Association of South Florida start talking trash.
It's once again time for the organization's Broward County Waterway Cleanup. Saturday, for the 37th year in a row, volunteers will gather along area lakes, rivers, canals and seashore to pluck all manner of trash from the water.
This year, approximately 2,000 volunteers of all ages are expected to meet at 29 sites — parks, docks, boat ramps and canal banks. On foot and by boat, they will clean the waterways of debris, removing it by the ton.
"On average we get 20 tons," said Lacie Randall, marketing director with the marine association. That amount fills about 30 dumpsters, she said.
Oddball items found and disposed of in years past include refrigerators, fire extinguishers, and even a submerged parking meter. It's mucky work.
"They get dirty messy, especially the kids," Randall said. "Their dirtiness is comparable to how much garbage they retrieve, and comparable to their happiness."
The free event also includes educational short story, essay writing and "Friend of Nature" contests open to all Broward public school students.
The cleanup will be from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the designated sites. From 2 p.m. to 4 p.m., there will be a "Trash Bash" at the Dania Beach Pier, where particpants will celebrate their success with guest speakers, environmental awards, food and live music.
Volunteers will get T-shirts, and are advised to wear clothes they don't mind getting dirty, close-toed shoes, hats, gloves and sunscreen. More information, including a list of sites, is available by calling the marine association at 954-524-2733, or visiting waterwaycleanup.org.
email@example.com or 954-356-4525