March 10 2014
Saturday the 1st of March was The 34th annual Waterway clean up in Broward County. The day was pitcure perfect, 78 degrees and clear blue Skies.
If there is anyone that hasn’t participated in an event that involves scooping up trash out of a river, I understand why. But in-case you’ve forgot what it feels like to get the ‘heebee geebee’s’, pick up something gelatinous and muddy floating on the waters edge, you’ll reconnect with that feeling instantly.
Knowing what is involved with the Waterway Clean Up, helps a persons subconscience think of all the other things you needed to do that day instead of scooping up wet trash. Unfortunatly for me, my 8 & 9 year old haven’t missed a Waterway Clean Up their entire lives, and were not going to miss this one.
I tried to delay the morning departure for as long as possible, but the kids loaded the boat with nets, gloves and cold beverages. We didn’t get 50 feet away from the dock before the first sighting of trash was called out. “ 1 oclock, something floating” yelled the boy. My daughter promptly grabbed her net , jumped to the bow and proclamed “I got it” ! The boy brought over the trash bucket, and the two of them quickly figured out how to work as a team.
Our floating garbage barge is a 20’ Mako, with the unique ability to travel to the far reaching canals and rivers deep in to the heart of any trash producing metropolis…
We proceeded down the New River and weasled our way up the Tarpon & Himmarshee Rivers which are two small tributariess that feed the into New River.
For more than 5 hours I drove the garbage barge (aka Mako) while Jacob, Sophia, and Aubree (my Saintly Girlfriend) proudly scoop up plastic bags, styrofoam, cans, paper, & monofilament fishing line.
People came out from their homes and thanked the children, & Aubree. The kids received acolades from the patrons of the Pirate Bar next to the downtown train tracks.
We ended the day at the ‘Trash Bash' near Dania Beach Pier, hosted by the MIASF. We arrived at the new floating docks, and tied up next to Brownies dive boat, which was loaded with other kids that had been doing the same thing all day. They were jumping off the flybridge doing cannon balls in the same water we were pulling garbage out of just minuets earlier! Knowing what we pulled out of the river, made me think twice about letting them jump in and play with the other kids, but that would have been cruel and impossible to prevent.
Aubree and I sat back and enjoyed the BBQ provided by the MIASF. We watched a dozen of the kids swimming , jumping, laughing and bragging about how much they each picked up , like a badge of honor.
We could hear the kids telling the others of their day's adventure, and each kid had a story of over coming a trash related adversity. I realized, my kids remembered this party from last year, and they knew their friends from school would be at the party. At the end of the day, I was very happy they got me off the couch and into the Mako; even if their enthusiasm for the Waterway Clean Up was fueled by the goal of getting to that Party and doing a hard earned cannon balls into our beautiful river.