MIAMI – With the upcoming start of Hurricane season, there is an effort to clean up the coast by picking up trash, and eliminating invasive plants — to help shore up protective sand dunes.
Rachel Silverstein, of Miami Waterkeeper, said efforts such as these are essential because, with sea level rise and climate change, storms are getting “more and more intense” and more dangerous with storm surges.
“We need those natural barriers to protect us and the choice is between either doing that or having these giant concrete walls that have been proposed to help stop waves,” Silverstein said. “We don’t want that for Miami. We want to make sure we have healthy nature, healthy habitats.”
Dozens participated in a habitat restoration project on Wednesday in Virginia Key as part of The Elevate Prize Foundation’s Make Good Famous summit.
There was also a cleanup last weekend in Miami Beach. Carolina Garcia Jayaram, of The Elevate Prize Foundation, said the events were truly special.
“We have about I would say 30 or so people, many of them are social impact leaders, winners of our prize who come from all over the world working in all kinds of issue areas,” Garcia Jayaram said. “And for them, visiting Miami, this is maybe one of the most important parts, learning about our community and how they can give back.”
Silverstein said it is “super important” to keep beaches clean since garbage affects wildlife. It also causes suffering since animals often get tangled and trapped.
“The cleaner we can keep the land, the cleaner our water will be, and water is so important to Miami,” Silverstein said. “It is really why we live here; it’s the core of our economy.”