Image of trash after a paddle cleanup with a kiosk, paddle boards and kayaks in the background.

Photo Credit: Laura Pinilla 


Paddle cleanups are a great way to get out on the water, connect with your community and help to protect what you love. Not only are you able to be out on the water enjoying your passion for paddle boarding, but also contributing to the greater good and doing a selfless act by picking up marine debris. There is just something about it that will warm your soul. This weekend I was fortunate enough to participate in a Paddle Cleanup held by the Miami Surfrider Foundation at Morningside Park.  As a group, we were able to pick up over 400lbs of marine debris from Biscayne Bay, the shoreline and the nearby Legion Picnic Islands. There were over 35 volunteers on SUP's, and kayaks. 


Besides helping to remove items such as plastic, glass, and aluminum, one of the main benefits is being able to see the items you use daily and how they end up in the water. It truly is eye opening and helps to make you think of ways you can reduce your footprint by perhaps saying no to that straw at the restaurant or bringing you own reusable bag to the grocery store. At the end of the day, no matter how may cleanups you take part in, the only real way to reduce the amount of marine debris floating around is by educating yourself, others and by changing your habits. So, protect what you love and PADDLE WITH A PURPOSE. 


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