Turning trash into cash: Bradenton nonprofit holds competition to clean up beaches and waterways

A Bradenton non-profit organization has an interesting way of keeping local beaches and waterways clean: good old-fashioned competition. 

Suncoast Aqua Ventures challenges teams of boaters to go out and find as much trash as they can every year.

Once the trash is collected, the team with the most wins a cash prize. Prizes are also awarded to those with the most unique finds. 

The group held their weigh in and awards ceremony at the Bradenton Yacht Club Sunday, as team after team floated in with bows filled to the brim with trash and other finds. 

A team of 9th grade students returned for their third year in a row.

Image 1 of 5

Payton Marquette says she's happy to help with the clean up but she wished people would just use a trash can.

"It makes me mad that people don't know how to throw away their own trash, because like they're harming our environment and the environment is already harmed enough," the teen explained. "So they need to learn how to get their own trash and just throw it away by themselves."