After years of exploring Key Biscayne's Bear Cut Nature Preserve, Andrew Otazo looked into what could be done about the trash that covered the mangroves. When he realized that local government wouldn't help and local press wouldn't tell the story, he took it upon himself to slog through the swamps in the Miami preserve to clean it up one heavy duty garbage bag at a time.
"Over a span of 23 days, I've picked up 2,015 pounds of trash," he said.
Andrew walks past sunbathers on Key Biscayne's North Beach, to get to the mangroves and quick mud farther inland, where — armed with "giant tweezers," a knife and a whistle, he methodically picks items that have been left in the swamp or washed up at high tide over the course of several decades. The debris includes everything from used condoms to beer cans to car bumpers.
"I'll do my work here, I'll pass away, maybe other people will keep doing it, maybe not," Andrew said. "And this place will get full of trash again."
Nicolás Antonio Jiménez is the founder of DADE. When he's not working on this site, he's the senior editor of Cigar Snob Magazine, an internationally distributed lifestyle magazine.
Nick is also a Miami native, Cuban-American, and graduate of the Missouri School of Journalism.