The 16th annual Treasure Coast Waterway Cleanup wrapped up in mid-July this year where hundreds of local residents gathered to help protect and restore our local Florida waterways. Since the event began in 2008, 13,441 volunteers and 3,200 boats have participated in the event, collecting over 99.25 tons of trash from the waterways of the Treasure Coast. The Treasure Coast boasts beautiful aquatic and marine features from the Intercoastal Waterway, Indian River Lagoon, Atlantic beaches, nearshore reefs, and the St. Lucie River. CSA is proud to be a longtime sponsor of the event.
Each year, the Treasure Coast Waterway Cleanup engages people to collect trash found topside at local beaches, boat ramps, parks, and waterfronts but also from underwater environments during the annual Peck’s Lake Reef Cleanup. The Ports and Coastal Team at CSA spends their summers underwater surveying the nearshore hardbottom environment throughout southeast Florida. While they always make a concerted effort to pick up trash and derelict fishing gear while underwater, only trash collected during the Intercoastal Waterway Cleanup is recorded and included in the Cleanup Week statistics.
Trash and debris in our waterways has many direct and indirect impacts to the environment. Important habitat builders along the Treasure Coast such as seagrass beds, mangroves, corals, and oyster reefs can be directly smothered by trash and debris, which indirectly impacts the many species that are reliant on them. Sea turtles, marine mammals, birds, and fish can also directly ingest these materials when they become suspended in the water column or end up floating on the surface. Furthermore, plastic waste breaks down over time into microplastics, which are often ingested by marine life and so work their way up the food chain.
CSA’s Dive Safety Officer, Mikaela McCarthy, joined the Treasure Coast Waterway event organizers and the Mayor of Stuart, FL on WPTV 5’s “Shining a Light” to discuss the impacts of trash in our marine ecosystems and promote the event (https://www.wptv.com/news/treasure-coast/2023-treasure-coast-waterway-cleanup). To learn more about the event, go to http://www.tcwaterwaycleanup.com/.
To learn more about CSA’s Ports and Coastal Team, visit: https://www.csaocean.com/markets/ports-and-coastal-sciences.
8502 SW Kansas Ave.
Stuart, FL 34997