Happy Earth Day: Volunteers pick up 525 pounds of trash off Biscayne Bay shore

Dozens of volunteers picked up 525 pounds of trash on Friday off Biscayne Bay shore.

It was their way of celebrating Earth Day, a worldwide annual event that has been promoting environmental protection since 1970.

“Love our bay! It’s our blue heart,” said Irela Bagué, Miami-Dade County’s first chief bay officer.

The team, led by Miami-Dade Police Department Interim Director George A. Perez, worked for about an hour on the southern side of the Julia Tuttle Causeway, which connects Miami and Miami Beach.

“Just stop using single-use plastics,” Bagué said, adding that in just five minutes a volunteer can fill up a bucket. “We need to enjoy our environment and leave no trace.”

Miami-Dade Commissioner Eileen Higgins stood next to Perez and agreed with Bagué. The most common types of single-use plastic are bags, straws, coffee stirrers, soda, and water bottles.

“Plastics, don’t bring them near our water. Clean up every time you come and enjoy our waters,” Higgins said.

Most of the plastic in our oceans comes from land-based sources. The canals flowing through Miami-Dade are capable of moving trash to Biscayne Bay.

This Earth Day marked the first anniversary of Don’t Trash Our Treasure, a Local 10 News initiative to raise awareness about the pollution in Biscayne Bay.

For more information about how to join the cleanup efforts, visit VolunteerCleanup’s page. The nonprofit organization connects volunteers with event organizers.

Here is a list of plastic-free alternatives

Rely on reusable glass and stainless steel. Use palm leaf or bamboo pulp plates, stirrers, and utensils.Avoid balloons to decorate at parties. Use paper lanterns, recycled bunting, DIY bubble blowers, or flowers. Use bamboo cotton buds, organic cotton makeup pads, or reusable silicon swabs.Reusable shopping bags. Share more tips in the comments section.

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