Upper Keys kids will take to the coastlines for the third annual Marine Debris Derby, hosted by Ocean Studies Charter School, on Saturday, Jan. 28. 

Caribbean Club, Mile Marker 104, will host the event to allow for land-based and water- based entries. Registration and check-in for the event begins at 8 a.m. with a free breakfast for all participants hosted by The Juice House in Key Largo and Publix. 

Collection begins at 9 a.m. with a last call for debris at noon. Awards and winners will be announced at 1:30 p.m. followed by a celebration. Prizes, food, live music and games all will provide for a day of family fun. Register online at  to secure your child’s spot. Individual and team entries permitted. 

New this year will be a full tournament style derby with shoreline, paddle craft and boat divisions. Kids can register in any division and can compete to collect the most trash individually or with a team. Each participant receives a free breakfast, a custom Marine Debris Derby T-shirt, a lunch from A Moveable Feast food truck, a live music show and games. 

Ocean Studies Charter School student Caspian and his dad haul a tire.

Local environmental non-profits including REEF, Wild Bird Center, Island Dolphin Care and MarineLab will have touch tanks, wild bird displays and more. This year’s main sponsor, the Ocean Reef Conservation Association supports the initiative of getting our kids into the environment for a good cause.  

Micah Gardner will perform local musical favorites, and the popular Polar Ice truck will be on hand to cool everyone off from a morning of collection with some delicious snow cones. 

Students can either provide a $10 donation for entry ($40/team, up to four kids) or make it more fun by gathering pledges. If your child goes with the pledge option, the $10 entry fee will be waived. Pledges work in an “a – thon” manner – families and friends support their student(s) by pledging a certain amount per pound of debris each child collects. All proceeds benefit environmental education initiatives. Kayaks are generously donated by Florida Bay Outfitters with debris boat support by Mitchell Pest Services. Dumpsters are provided by Atlantic Trash & Transfer. Vital Signs, Everyone Loves a Gentle Dentist and RDI Room Dimensions are also event sponsors.

Ocean Studies Charter School is a free public charter school serving grades K – 8 located in the heart of Key Largo, Florida. We offer an alternative to traditional education by providing authentic experiences in our unique Florida Keys environment, the use of best practices in education including Montessori methods, and a specialty in marine science education. We use the Florida Standards in class and are an A-Rated, high-performing charter school.