Who is Cleaning the Trash From the beaches of Palm Beach?
420 pounds of trash removed per week, over 59 tons since May 2013
Audrey and Martin Gruss hosted an informational reception to introduce fellow oceanfront homeowners to Diane Buhler, founder of Friends of Palm Beach, a 501c3 organization. After meeting Diane Buhler at a Town Council meeting, Mr. Gruss took a personal interest in learning more about the ongoing beach trash crisis. Gruss not only committed to support her efforts, but offered to open his home in an effort to introduce neighbors to Diane, Friends of Palm Beach, and garner their support.
“The ocean is laden with man-made debris washing on our shores. This trash comes from as close as the Caribbean islands to as far as West Africa. This is due to Palm Beach’s proximity to the Gulf Stream. The problem with the incoming trash is here to stay . We collect this trash, 75-100 pounds daily, and dispose of it properly. The hazmat has become part of a PBAU drift study to define its origin. Our eco-cleaning keeps the beach in Palm Beach natural and healthy.” said Buhler.
Informational Reception raises over $200,000 for local grass roots charity.
A 15-minute presentation given by Diane Buhler and moderated by former NBC and CNN International correspondent Felicia Taylor engaged the audience, triggered questions and culminated in over $200,000 in raised funds. Host Committee members included Ken Griffin, Diana and Llwyd Ecclestone, Bill Finneran, Nicole and Derek Limbocker, Nicola and Jeffrey Marcus, Paula Butler, Lisa and James Cohen, Bill and Bridget Koch, Carol and Earle Mack, Sonia and Paul Tudor Jones, Terry Allen Kramer, Kristen and Chris Vila, Susan and Bob Wright, Nataly and Ernst Langer, Amy and John Phelan, Kathryn and Leo Vecellio.
Buhler’s team of employees, comprised of members of Vitanova, The Lords Place and Goodwill industries, scour the beaches daily. The team meticulously sifts through seaweed, removing fragmented trash, hazmat debris and other sharp items dangerous to children and pets. Since May 2013, they have collected and disposed of over 60 tons of trash.
“I am extremely grateful to Audrey and Martin for the opportunity to engage more beachfront home owners in our mission and raise the monies needed to expand on our work,” said Diane Buhler
A sculpture made entirely from objects lost and found from the sea was on display during the reception. “Little Brown Bear”, by Gilles Cenazandotti is currently for sale at Contessa Gallery, 247 Worth Avenue. A portion of proceeds from sales will be donated to Friends of Palm Beach.
Left image: Gilles Cenazandotti (B. 1966 – ) Little Brown Bear Sculpture with Objects Lost and Found from the Sea
About Friends of Palm Beach Friends of Palm Beach is a 501c3 organization as recognized by the internal Revenue Service and is registered with all appropriate state authorities. As such, donations are tax deductible to the fullest extent allowed by law. Friends of Palm Beach regularly cleans the beaches of Palm Beach to remove unnatural debris and trash. Friends of Palm beach provides jobs through a transitional work program for the underprivileged. The organization educates the community, raises awareness on the dangers of marine debris and the long-lasting effects of trash on the environment and marine life.