Ernst & Young Connect Day at Teacher's Island

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Ernst & Young Connect Day at Teacher's Island


On Friday September 16th, over 110 volunteers from Ernst & Young and the Environmental Coalition of Miami and the Beaches worked together to clean up Teacher’s Island. Part of an effort coinciding with International Coastal Cleanup Day sponsored by Ocean Conservancy, volunteers collected more than 150 bags of garbage, totaling around 1,500 lbs. This activity was part of Ernst & Young's Connect Day which represents a way for each of our offices to come together for a day of service to our communities and in celebration with one another and supports our commitment to environmental sustainability and reducing our impact on the environment.

Thursday, September 1, 2011 - 12:00pm

, September 17, 2011

On Friday September 16th, over 110 volunteers from Ernst & Young and ECOMB poured into crafts supplied by PlayTime Watersports and the City of Miami in partnership with Watson Island Marina and the Miami Parking Authority to clean up Teacher’s Island.

Part of an effort coinciding with International Coastal Cleanup Day sponsored by Ocean Conservancy, Ernst & Young calls this their EY Connect Day; a day when they give back to the community. This is but one of three methods which they call the three ‘Es’, Environment, Education and Entrepreneurship.

This day, was a day of environment—specifically, to clean up Teacher’s Island.

Spearheading the activity was Hector Tundidor, managing partner of the Miami offices, Leisha John, Americas director of environmental sustainability, Jost Funke, leader of the Miami community involvement committee, Camila Cote, audit partner—leading efforts for United Way activities, Luis Gomez, location manger—Miami office of Ernst & Young, Luiz Rodrigues, executive director of ECOMB and Gary Milano of the Dept. of Environmental Resources Management (DERM).

As the volunteers boarded the Great White Catamaran supplied by PlayTime Watersports, the day was perfect to navigate Biscayne Bay to Teacher’s Island. And after a brief stint on the water our yellow-shirted environmentalists came ashore on Island number one between the Julia Tuttle and Venetian Causeways.   

Upon arrival, we were greeted by tables of snacks donated by Whole Foods Market; apples, bananas and fruit bars along with water—so the clean-up would go smoothly. And it did. More than 150 bags of ~ 10lbs each made the days clean-up total weighing in around 1,500 lbs of trash to be hauled away by the City of Miami. Also, more than 250 lbs of trash was collected on the debarking dock area from the marina.

It was more than a days work, but well worth it if you visit the Island by boat now. You’ll find it much cleaner and much more enjoyable for your day on and off the water—thank you Ernst & Young.

At around 11:30 AM our band of environmental clean-up volunteers made their way back to the marina where they were awarded a well deserved luncheon. Organizers reiterated the importance of the activity and everyone left fulfilled; both in their efforts and in their stomachs. It was a clean-up job well done powered by a caring and environmentally responsible local business named Ernst & Young.

I had a chance to speak with Luiz Rodrigues during the event. According to Mr. Rodrigues, ECOMB typically participates in Island clean up a minimum of four times every year. In point of fact, they’ve adopted Flagler Monument Island (Their adopted Island), currently under clean-up on Saturday the 17th.

One of the goals of ECOMB is to create programs for the other islands in Biscayne Bay wherein other businesses can work with the City of Miami and ECOMB to assist in quarterly clean-ups.

Seemingly, we’re blessed with not only incredible views in this magnificent Bay, but some of the finest boating and watersports available in the world—not to mention the sanctuaries these islands provide for our wildlife.

My heartfelt thanks and admiration goes out to all that participated—you’ve inspired me.

Efforts like Friday’s clean-up arouse and motivate continued enjoyment of Biscayne Bay and all it provides residents and tourists alike; so, let’s keep our bay clean guys and gals.

Keywords: Community Engagement | Connect Day | Ernst & Young | Miami | environmental sustainability | volunteer