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Mother of all clean-ups

© Paul Todd/Volvo Ocean Race
© Paul Todd/Volvo Ocean Race

The Volvo Ocean Race’s environmental project Keep the Oceans Clean! has joined forces with global movement Mother Ocean for inspired beach cleans that will sweep the world, starting at one of Miami’s most iconic waterways on Saturday.

Since Keep the Oceans Clean’s 2011 inception, hundreds of people across five continents have participated in six beach cleans that have increased environmental awareness and produced sculptures for a long-lasting reminder of the importance of taking care of the world’s oceans.

That success will be bolstered by the new partnership with the like-minded not-for-profit organizationMother Ocean, who have created the world’s first weekly international clean-up through their Ocean Hour project.

The teams’ first joint venture will take place on Saturday, May 12 and will include mangrove planting at Virginia Key and rubbish collecting at Key Biscayne with the assistance of local groups The Big Blue and You and the Reclamation Project.

KOC project coordinator Jacqui Smith said Mother Ocean would also join the around the world yacht race at the remaining three stopovers in Europe; Lisbon, Lorient and Galway.

“We are like minded initiatives that share a goal to inspire environmental awareness and create stewards of oceans,’’ Jacqui said.

“A lot of people want to do give something in return for the beauty of their surrounds, but they don’t know where to start. Together with Mother Ocean we are giving people an opportunity to take part in beach cleans, not just here in Miami, but all over the world.”

Mother Ocean CEO and founder Justin Riney said that through using the power of social media his organization had inspired people from 15 countries to participate in weekly cleans on Saturday mornings from 9-10 am.

Justin said the concept was simple; inspire the global community to come together and protect the oceans, coastlines, waterways and aquatic ecosystems.

“Whether people are in Miami helping us clean the surrounds here, or thousands of miles away in Russia, Australia or Italy, they can help to inspire change,’’ Justin said.

“Through social media we can crowd source in a way that gets the global community coming together to pick up trash at beaches, rivers, lakes and improve the environment.

“We encourage everyone to join us this Saturday, no matter where they are, and help to protect our environment.’’

Anyone wanting to participate in the Miami Keep the Oceans Clean! event is encouraged to meet at theDown Town Miami Race Village at Bicentennial Park at 9am on Saturday, May 12.

Free buses will transport everyone to and from the clean up areas. The first stop is Virginia Key, where the Reclamation Project will lead a mangrove-replanting task for about 20 minutes. Next, the bus will take supporters to Key Biscayne to collect rubbish.

The buses will return to the race village at midday. A free light-lunch will be provided in the Big Blue and You tent inside the race village, thanks to Pollo Tropical.

All of the rubbish will be used by Keep the Oceans Clean! joint partners and artist cooperative Skeleton Sea to create an orca sculpture  at public workshops that will take place at the race village.

Keeping the oceans clean can be dirty work, so please bring a spare pair of covered shoes. Gloves and rubbish bags will be provided.
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