Keep Martin Beautiful Volunteers remove more than 40,000 pieces of litter and marine debris as part of International Coastal Cleanup

Posted on October 17, 2022

Keep Martin Beautiful’s International Coastal Cleanup inspired more than 1,000 Martin County residents to take action to help improve the quality of our beaches and waterways. Volunteers from a cross-section section of the community joined forces on a rainy Saturday morning on September 17 and removed more than 40,000 pieces of litter and marine debris from local rivers, beaches, parks and waterways throughout Martin County.

“Thanks to the data collection app our volunteers have been using over the past few years, we are able to gather meaningful data each year about what our volunteers are picking up,” said Craig Ahal, Keep Martin Beautiful President. “As always, the biggest litter culprit is cigarette butts.”

More than 8,500 cigarette butts were found strewn about Martin County’s beaches and parks, representing about 21% percent of all the trash collected by item. A typical cigarette butt can take up to 10 years to decompose. Other large contributors to litter and marine debris in Martin County included nearly 2,500 plastic bottle caps, more than 500 plastic bottles, and nearly 700 plastic bags

This year, the most unusual items found included fake plants, a mascara tube, clothing, and an umbrella.

“Some of our volunteer groups have been participating in our annual Coastal Cleanup for more than a decade,” said Tiffany Kincaid, Executive Director of Keep Martin Beautiful. “The troop leaders, school groups and families that take younger kids out to be part of the cleanup are such a critical part of instilling environmental stewardship values on the next generation.”

Keep Martin Beautiful has been the local coordinator for International Coastal Cleanup for 27 years. It’s part of a global initiative coordinated by the Ocean Conservancy involving 17 million people in over 100 nations around the world.

Keep Martin Beautiful appreciates the many sponsors who supported the 2022 International Coastal Cleanup, including: Ashley Capital, the City of Stuart; Coastal Waste & Recycling; ColorLength; Cook Electric, Inc.; Ecological Associates, Inc.; Florida Inland Navigational District; The Firefly Group; Hutchinson Shores Resort & Spa; Jenkins Landscape; Live with Grace; Martin County Board of County Commissioners; The MilCor Group; the Pulte Group; Rocky’s Ace Hardware Stuart; Sailfish Point; Shearwater Marine; Stuart Corinthian Yacht Club; Surfing Evolution & Preservation Foundation; Three Lakes; Trash Free Seas; van Vonno Consulting; VidaCann and 4ocean.

About Keep Martin Beautiful

Keep Martin Beautiful (KMB) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit community organization founded in 1994 as an affiliate of Keep America Beautiful. Its mission is to preserve and enhance the quality of life in Martin County through litter prevention, the promotion of recycling, improvement of solid waste management practices, and beautification and community revitalization activities. KMB signature events and programs include the Environmental Stewardship Awards, the International Coastal Cleanup, the Great American Cleanup, the Adopt-A-Road and Adopt-A-Street programs, and other educational and outreach activities.

Find KMB on Facebook at, follow KMB on Instagram at, visit or call 772-781-1222.