When you throw something away, where is away? Six years ago, Dave Doebler found out the answer one afternoon on his kayak where he discovered 75 pounds of trash floating on the waters of Miami Beach. After wrangling his friends and family to help him clean up, he quickly realized that they either needed a bigger boat or more help. Eventually Dave and his wife Dara decided to create VolunteerCleanup.org, a free online resource which allows residents to lead and/or join a cleanup meetup to help rid the cities coastlines of the abundance of trash.

Some of the most commonly found items in the water are single use plastic bottles, straws and cigarette butts (which are made from plastic and are not biodegradable). The trash is not only effecting the marine life (eating the plastic or being trapped by paper bags), and the oceans (acidity levels rising due to the plastic chemicals) but it’s also clogging our drains which prevent them from working properly which in turn contributes to the egregious flooding.  And as Miami is ground zero for sea level rise, this is a huge and immediate issue we should all be concerned about.

We sat down with Dara and Dave to discuss how they got involved with these issues and why it’s become such a passionate cause for them, how their efforts have changed the way local businesses think of trash and their upcoming event, International Coastal Cleanup Day, which seeks to capture citizen science data to help tackle this enormous and growing problem.

We hope you enjoy the conversation,

Jeanette & Alex

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They prefer Ted Talks- Dave’s favorite: Write your own obituary – Brad Meltzer

VoluneerCleanup.org – Website | Instagram | Facebook | YouTube
International Coastal Cleanup Day – Website | Instagram | Twitter | Snapchat

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