Eco Art Gallery by the Sea Proposal

South Beach Anti-litter Project


The goal of the Eco Art Gallery by the Sea Campaign is to achieve a cleaner beach (Miami Beach from the 1st to 23rd St.) by out-pacing the rate of litter and increasing clean-up and educational initiatives. The project organizes business and resident stewards who care about the environmental and economic implications of clean beaches by offering a convenient way to participate in a solution to a growing problem:

Allow sponsors to underwrite additional clean-up
and educational budgets collectively by adopting trashcans located on our sand

In exchange for sponsor contribution, the top portion of each adopted trashcan will be decorated with a sleeve of commissioned artwork as well as an accreditation plaque that highlights a sponsor's participation. Beach trashcans serve as an aesthetic complement to the vibrancy of our beach and community in many ways, including an invitation for beach patrons to use them. Further, success from this campaign could set future precedent with regard to the beautification of other Miami-Dade parks and beaches.

Beach litter is a grave threat to Miami Beach's tourist-based economy. A pleasant experience during tourists' "day at the beach" greatly influences the general opinion of their vacation, what they tell their friends when they get back home, and their future decisions to return. To sustain high occupancy rates at our hotels, busy doormen at our night clubs, and hours-long reservation waits at our restaurants, Miami Beach business owners must ensure that tourists are impressed with the upkeep and eco-culture of our vacation destination. Together, The Environmental Coalition of Miami Beach, the City of Miami Beach, Miami-Dade County, local artists, businesses & community stewards can positively influence visitor perception of Miami Beach through increased clean-up and educational initiatives.

Major Benefits achieved from the Adopt a Beach Trash Can Campaign include:

  • * A cleaner beach without additional tax dollar cost

  • * Significant funding to government agencies from a local environmental non-profit

  • * An art gallery along our shoreline attracting tourists during their visit

  • * Greater business involvement as beach stewards / stakeholders

  • * Strategic opportunity for the City of Miami Beach and Miami-Dade County to demonstrate national leadership in a community teaming activity


  1. To reduce the amount of litter on Miami-Beach by raising the awareness of beach users and increasing the frequency & coverage of clean-up initiatives.

    • * By the end of the project, the rate of residual litter accumulating on the beach from the 1st to 23rd St. will have reduced by at least 70%

  1. To strengthen existing partnerships and develop new ones with local government agencies, residents and private businesses, such as beach area hotels, nightlife and restaurants associations.

    • * To secure 204 sponsored trashcans - first offered to local businesses and later to national corporations if need be


Our 2.3 miles of sandy coastline from Government Cut to 23rd Street is one of Florida's most valuable natural resources. Miami Beach is an integral part of the county's economy, generating approximately $7.9 billion a year (according to the Greater Miami Conventions & Visitors Bureau). It attracts over 14 million visitors annually from all parts of the world. An unfortunate consequence of more and more visitors, is that too often, they leave behind their litter. In 1988, during the Florida Coastal Clean-up Day, a total of 194 tons of debris were collected from Florida's coastal zones. In the year 2000, this amount increased to 532 tons (

In addition to the general aesthetics & economic problems, litter has also become a serious threat to marine life, a transportation hazard, and a threat to human health & safety. When washed into our ocean waters, marine debris may sink to the sea-floor or drift in the water column. Marine animals are not able to distinguish between inedible human-made debris, such as plastic bags, from natural food sources, and end up either ingesting trash or getting entangled, which most of the time proves to be fatal.


  • * Project design and implementation

  • * Management & coordination of marketing initiatives

  • * Collection of sponsors' funds

  • * Installation of trashcan sleeves

  • * Artist procurement

  • * Oversight of educational initiatives

  • * Manage funding for clean-up initiatives

  • * Public relations and marketing

  • * Trashcan sleeve replacement with regard to wear & tear, vandalism, theft, etc...



Funding derived from this project directly supports an overarching goal of a cleaner beach. Project components consist of staffing and equipment for Litter Picker Teams, Sand Sifting, & Sand Dune Improvements. ECOMB has worked alongside Miami-Dade County Parks and Recreation Department, the City of Miami Beach's Public Works and Sanitation Departments, and the Boucher Brothers to craft an implementation strategy customized to meet the geographic and frequency needs of litter patterns monitored over the years. The proposed project budget reflects a year long beach clean-up complement to existing public beach maintenance dollars.

  1. Litter Picker Teams:
    A significant amount of trash (straws, cigarette butts, and bottle caps) accumulates on sand dunes, along dune crossings as well as the east side of the dunes - all the way to the water. To amend this problem, the Adopt a Beach Trash Can project aims to reduce litter in these areas by increasing litter-picking staff. Routine rounds from an additional litter-picking teams could remove this debris across the 23 blocks discussed. This ensures a pleasant entrance and exit for every patron that enjoys our facilities throughout the year. Miami Beach Teen Job Corp. will staff and equip this effort for around $40,000 (10 Workers, 3 days/week @ 2 hours/day).

  1. Sand Sifting:

Sand sifting is the process of elevating collections of sand and utilizes a sifting screen to sieve the debris. The debris is then deposited into the collector and the waste is later disposed of properly. A Sand Sifter is a wheeled machine attached to the rig of a tractor that performs this process.

The City of Miami Beach will perform monthly sand sifting for the South Beach public beach areas after the sand re-nourishment project is completed in the Lummus Park area. In discussions with Miami Dade County, they have agreed to run the sand sifting program from Government Cut to 23rd Street, while the County maintains responsibility for sand north of 23rd St. It is estimated that the City can provide this service for a total cost of $27,600 per year.

  1. Dune Improvements

There is a need to improve certain areas of our sand dunes with enhancements such as new fencing, rope, irrigation, & exotic plant removal. Dune replenishment is an arduous process and preemptive initiatives will allow us to avoid this expense in the future. The Dune Improvement budget totals at $20,000 and will be performed by the City of Miami Beach Public Works Department.


In addition to the clean-up activities discussed above, funding derived from this project will also complement and enhance established educational initiatives already being provided by ECOMB and Miami-Dade County:

1. Recycling Educational Brochures
Provide funds for additional printing of ECOMB's "Recycling Campaign" multi-lingual brochure - Green Tips to a Green Beach.

2. Eco Cabana:
Provide funds for a mobile eco-information center located on the beach.

3. Eco-Logical Teams:
Implementation a neighborhood-based environmental teams, which encourages and teaches community members to adopt more environmentally sustainable lifestyle practices.

4. Beach Bin Litter Sampling:

We hope to one day convert the trash bins located on the beach to recycling cans. The majority of trash found is newspapers, bottles, and other recycling. Funding litter sampling allows us to provide quantitative evidence towards our intent to convert these receptacles.


The project offers a one year sponsorship to businesses and residents. The price structure to market 204 trashcans from 1st to 23rd St. offers 1 can for $2,500 and 3 for $5,000. A business's or resident's "adoption" is marked on a plaque where their logo-name is featured next to information about the campaign as well as ECOMB's logo, Miami Dade County's Logo, and the City of Miami Beach's Logo. This plaque covers around 11 inches by 7 inches of the real estate devoted to the decorated sleeve. The plaque is attached by bolting it over top of the area where the two ends of the artwork sleeve meet.

In exchange for participation in the Adopt a Beach Trash Can Project, sponsors will receive many benefits:

  • Beach-side placement of a decorated trashcan sleeve

  • Original artwork (which the sponsor can choose to donate to ECOMB for auction)

  • Featured on partner list of

  • Featured on the official press release sent out to media outlets


Sponsor participation in the Adopt a Beach Trash Can project is crucial towards its success. To effectively inform our neighbors about the opportunity to participate in this community building exercise, three media outlets will be used: print media, public media, and word of mouth.

  • Print Media

ECOMB's existing media relationships will assist the non-profit in sponsor procurement. Through editorial placement and reduced ad rates, we can inform the public of rates, availability & benchmark dates. Trade opportunities will be explored with participating media outlets to supplant this cost. Participating outlets can include Miami Herald, SunPost, New Times.

  • Public Media

Incorporating public channels of information broadcast will increase our success probability with minimal additional cost. The green movement is capturing increasing levels of editorial coverage. Reporting on the community building aspects of our project will also paint Miami Beach in a positive light. Mr. Jay Moore, Development Coordinator for the City of Miami Beach Office of Communications, has reviewed the Eco Art gallery by the Sea campaign and sees the project as a complement to his Municipal Marketing initiatives. ECOMB could work together with the Miami Beach Channel, the Beach Channel and Miami Beach Magazine to inform the public of this opportunity to participate.

  • Word of Mouth

Through our networking relationships, ECOMB will deliver formal presentations to business associations relative to our area: Ocean Drive Association, Lincoln Road Business Association, South Beach Hotel & Restaurant Association, Miami Beach Nightlife Association, the Miami Beach Chamber of Commerce, and more. Along with our contacts, ECOMB will actively pursue & process sponsors through direct marketing efforts.


The trashcan artwork discussed is meant to enhance the beauty of our beach. Currently, our trashcans are a bleak metal color, bent and rusting. Colorful illustrations will complement the culture of our area and achieve notoriety similar to that of our charismatic lifeguard stands and flamingos.
Under the proposal, local artists will be presented with the chance to display their skills along our natural art gallery by submitting "ECO by the Sea" sketches to ECOMB. Adopt a Beach Trash Can Campaign partners will help distribute a formal CALL TO ARTISTS. This information will be advertised in local print media and local artist websites & email lists along with rules and artwork canvas size (approximately 63 inches by 7 inches), .
All submitted sketches will be featured in a menu booklet that ECOMB will use to present to potential sponsors, allowing them choose their preferred adopted trashcan design(s). The Adopt a Beach Trash Can Campaign will be announced formally through participating media outlets (Sun Post, New Times, & Miami Herald) and appointments will be scheduled on a first come, first serve basis. If a potential sponsor does not find a preferred sketch from the presented menu, then the potential sponsor reserves the right to find his/her own artists to produce a custom trash can decoration. Each sponsor will then-after work together with their preferred artist to produce a final version to be printed and installed on beach trashcan(s). Artists will be paid $200 for each design printed and officially featured on the beach. Artists are asked to take measures to digitize their artwork in order to submit their sketches and final designs. ECOMB will encourage sponsors to provide opportunity for as many artists as possible to participate. 

To deter theft and vandalism, the opportunity to purchase prints on ECOMB's website will be clearly marked on the plaque: "Support our Clean Beaches and Artists @ Please Do Not Steal or Vandalize Trashcan". 


The possibility of trashcan replacement is high for a number of reasons (Theft, Vandalism, Pick-Up or Stacking Abrasion, Sand & Salt Water Erosion). To prepare for these unforeseen events, proper budgeting will cover the cost for backup trashcans, sleeves, and plaques. Surveillance of unsightly cans, sleeves, and plaques will be performed in cooperation with ECOMB, City of Miami Beach Employees, Teen Job Corp Employees, Miami Dade County Employees, as well as the Trashcan Sponsors.