‘SOS Ocean Clean Up’ is a local ocean conservation group comprised totally of volunteers ages 4 to 86. This organization was created by Stoked On Salt owner Lisa Miceli-Capano in 2013 because of her intense desire to protect our local treasures, the beautiful beaches and coral reef.
SOS Ocean Clean Up routinely partners with Vone Research (a local 501(c)3 nonprofit) to provide community service hours to all the students who participate in the clean up events. Participants include Girl Scouts, IGFA volunteers, summer campers, businesses and local students as well as scientists, residents and tourists. The eager volunteers travel from as far away as the Florida Keys, West Palm Beach, Miami and Naples.
All the SOS events are free, educational and family friendly. Educational materials are supplied by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection Coral Conservation Program, Project Aware Dive Against Debris, NOAA, The National Save The Sea Turtle Foundation, Shark4Kids, Reef Relief and Friends of Our Florida Reefs, to name a few. The hundreds of participants at the SOS events always enjoy themselves and feel immensely rewarded for making a difference in the local environment.
SOS has been a member of the Project Aware Dive Against Debris Program since 2014. All the debris data is weighed and documented by volunteers at every event. This step is essential! Once reported, our Dive Against Debris data enters a global database to help support the development and implementation of policies to improve solid waste management, locally and globally.
Stoked On Salt
My name is Lisa Miceli, Owner of Stoked On Salt Ocean Conservation Gear, Ocean Conservation Artist & founder of a local volunteer cleanup group called ‘SOS Ocean Clean Up’. Growing up, my family gave me the nickname "GOLDFISH" because they could never get me out of the water. I was raised in sunny Fort Lauderdale since 3 months old and having the beach as my 'backyard' only continued to nurture my love for all things ocean-related. I grew up in a family of artists and instinctively knew that I wanted to use my creativity to inspire people to care about marine life and the seas. I earned a stakeholder seat in the Southeast Florida Coral Reef Initiative (SEFCRI) where I regularly interact with academia, non-governmental organizations, fishing, diving, and private businesses as well as county, state and federal authorities including the DEP, NOAA and FWC. In 2017, I was recognized for my "Significant Contributions" by the United States Coral Reef Task Force - NOAA - and for the creativity and leadership in minimizing marine debris in Southeast Florida oceans. In May of 2018, I was recognized for as as the 2018 Synergy Summit for Cultural & Heritage Tourism as "Best Local Artist".
Growing up in Florida, unfortunately I have had the opportunity to witness our living coral reefs slowly disappear due to debris, anchor damage and other environmental factors. Since that was completely unacceptable to me, in May of 2013, I created "Stoked On Salt"- a dive apparel company, and a volunteer cleanup group called "SOS Ocean Clean-Up. I created this organization because of my intense desire to protect our local treasures, the beautiful beaches and coral reef. To my great satisfaction, the volunteer group consists of over 2,500 TEAM SOS volunteers ages 4 to 86 years old.
The Dive community gave me the nickname, "Ocean Warrior." I have a long history since childhood for caring about the ocean and environment and as I matured I continue that advocacy wherever I saw the opportunity. During those years, I was fortunate to meet others like myself and partner with them to make more of an impact on the community and the focus necessary to bring thousands of people on board to be my "Warrior Family." I also have connected non-profit organizations who are part of this SOS MISSION and even further impact the future generations. Since SOS Ocean Clean Up is not an Non-profit organization, I find that many cities and corporations decline participating with me even though they would love to join us. My ways to overcome this obstacle is to collaborate with non-profits that are already in existence but lack volunteers and funding to promote their work. It is my following of people that enhance the non-profits that I work with in the environment. We routinely partner with V?n? Research (a local 501(c)3 nonprofit) to provide community service hours to all the students who participate. We rely on a small portion of our SOS proceeds to produce these free SOS events. We are so thankful for the community because most of our cleanup donations, supplies, permits, advertising, snacks, give-aways are either donated by local businesses, ocean conservation groups, families, schools... basically the community. As you would imagine, I don't have a staff so I spend a lot of my personal time executing these free events to the community. What sets me apart from others is that I do it with a passion and not a financial motive.
Along with producing SOS Events - I also use my artist talent to bring awareness to local beach debris through SOS DEBRIS ART. I create one-of-a-kind Murals ??of underwater scene?s without using ?typical ?paint brushes, but by using debris items? collected from our beach. During the projects I encourage tourists, residents, beach goers and divers to drop off any beach debris that they find on the shoreline or under the ocean while diving/snorkeling and drop into a bucket that I have located where I paint. Once the debris is thoroughly cleaned, I paint the Murals using ?these ??debris items? as my painting tools? to? bring awareness to the debris that ?is ?being ?discarded on the shoreline and makes it's way into the ocean which can destroy marine, and ultimately, human life. You can visit the SOS Protect Our Reef Mural located behind the Windjammer Resort in Lauderdale-By-The-Sea or the Restrooms building in the City of Fort Lauderdale located at South Beach Park.
We Floridians spend a great deal of time in the water. As a result, we often are the first to see the short term and long term changes in the aquatic environment. This makes us uniquely qualified to call attention to the threats that the underwater world faces. Of course, we also have a important responsibility to protect the aquatic environment whenever we interact with it.
Many people are not aware of the ocean’s influence on us and our influence on the ocean and I wanted to do something that was inspiring for a younger generation because they're the ones in line to inherit all these issues - so I decided to create the SOS Ocean Conservation Day. Ocean Conservation Day event is a one day outdoor event that is not only fun, but an educational program for the entire family that helps bring awareness to our ocean and the efforts to preserve and protect our living coral reef ecosystems. Over 50 Ocean/Marine Conservation groups join us to engage in outreach with the general public about issues that could be addressed on a local level - which we so desperately need: CORALS - MANATEES - LIONFISH - BEACH/OCEAN DEBRIS - SHARKS - SEA TURTLES - MANTA RAYS - WHALES - LOBSTERING - WATER QUALITY - WILDLIFE RESCUE - FISHING REGULATIONS - OCEAN SAFETY and more.
Now in its' 3rd year, we try to encourage all event goers to bring their own ocean-friendly drinkware. We know this may be an inconvenience to some but this is a small and easy step for people to get started on. From there, we can move on to larger projects to help continue the ongoing mission to Ban Plastic in our community. By following Stoked On Salt on our social media pages, you can stay updated on all future events as well as other organizations who have the same vision as we do. Together, we can change and work towards a clean, healthy ocean planet.
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