More than 2,400 people volunteered their time Sept. 19 to help clean the beaches in Florida's Broward County as part of the Ocean Conservancy's 24th annual International Coastal Cleanup.
Broward County staff from the Environmental Protection and Growth Management Department worked with local municipalities and collected more than 7,000 pounds of trash that ranged from baby toys to biohazard waste. An estimated 82,000 pieces of trash were picked up with the No. 1 trash item being cigarette butts. More than 34,000 butts were cleaned from the beaches and one site, which combined all the cigarette butts collected by the volunteers, filled a bag that weighed 10 pounds.
Volunteers participating in the coastal cleanup represented the Broward County municipalities of Deerfield Beach, Pompano Beach, Lauderdale-By-The-Sea, Fort Lauderdale, Dania Beach, Hollywood and Hallandale Beach as well as volunteers from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection for Hugh Taylor Birch and John U. Lloyd state parks.
Twelve cleanup site locations were set up along Broward coastline. Volunteers included school groups, Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, local corporations, concerned individuals, and other County employees, all interested in helping the environment.
The International Coastal Cleanup, typically held on the third Saturday of September, takes place in over 104 countries around the world. Last year, more than 400,000 volunteers collected more than 6.9 million pounds of trash and marine debris worldwide.
For information on the International Coastal Cleanup, visit the Ocean Conservancy's Web site.