5 opportunities to keep trash out of our ocean
By Ava Bourbeau
If there’s one thing to appreciate about Fall in Florida, it’s that the sand is finally cool enough to walk on without getting third degree burns. And what better way to celebrate that than a long walk on the beach — picking up trash, of course. We’ve got the deets on beach clean-ups happening this fall that you can participate in. All you need to do is show up armed with your sunscreen and your reusable water bottle (who uses plastic anymore?).
1. Juno Beach
The Juno clean-up is hosted by Loggerhead Marinelife Center. LMC recently put on a month-long traveling beach clean-up called “Tour de Trash,” but they continued their weekly local clean-up in addition. Take that litterers. Every Saturday volunteers can meet at the Marine Debris Sorting Station on the back deck of LMC to pick up their supplies. The clean-up is self-guided — meaning you have complete control over how far or how long you want to participate. All you have to do is return your supplies, and any trash you collect, back to LMC when you’re done.
When: Saturdays, anytime from 8:30 – 11:30 a.m.
Where: 14200 U.S Hwy 1, Juno Beach
2. MacArthur Beach State Park
According to the park’s website, volunteers have collected over 3,000 pounds of trash off the beach at MacArthur. This land, which was established as a state park in 1989, is home to a diverse ecosystem. And, compared to other Palm Beach County beaches — which are free to park at — it’s quieter, because of the $5 entrance fee. The biweekly beach clean-up is a chance not only to rid the beach of trash — and get volunteer hours — but also to experience some of the unique habitats that MacArthur has to offer including the estuary, the dunes, and the reef.
When: Every second Saturday from 9:00 – 11:00 a.m.
Where: 1990 Jack Nicklaus Dr, North Palm Beach
3. Ocean Inlet Park
The cleanup at Ocean Inlet Park is organized by the non-profit The Sea Angels. They describe their effort as a “Green cleanup” — all the trash collected is either upcycled or recycled when possible. No matter rain or shine, Sea Angels is out there every last Saturday. They provide glovers, grabbers, and buckets for their volunteers.
When: Every last Saturday of the month from 8:00 AM – 10:30 AM
Where: 6990 N. Ocean Boulevard, Boynton Beach
4. Ocean Cay Park
Friends of Jupiter Beach hosts the monthly clean-up at Ocean Cay Park. Volunteers are divided into teams, each with a team leader. The clean-up spans 2.5 miles from the Juno Beach Pier to the south edge of Carlin Park. This event is comprehensive because rather than limiting the efforts to trash found just on the sand, teams are also sent to clean the pavilion, parking areas, and the sidewalks. When you and your team return after about an hour and a half of pick-up, you are treated to complimentary breakfast and even prizes!
When: Every first Saturday of the month from 8:00 – 10:00 a.m.
Where: 2188 Marcinski Rd, Jupiter
5. Beach Bucket Foundation
This clean-up has a unique structure. While Beach Bucket does host beach clean-up events — details of which can be found on their social media — the premise of the foundation is that buckets are accessible at all times, so that anyone enjoying the beach can grab one and get to collecting.