|Green Armada Foundation|
|Written by John Muir|
|Tuesday, December 4 2007|
CNN hero defending the planet
While battling cancer himself and caring for a sick daughter, Mark Maksimowicz co-founded the Green Armada Foundation. He invested his life savings and purchased a boat designed to pick up trash from the waterways, and the organization has evolved into a public charity with dozens of boats and hundreds of volunteers participating across the United States.
At a waterside dinner one evening, Mark Maksimowicz and his two cousins decided they were tired of watching garbage fill the Florida waterways that once served as their childhood outdoor recreation spot.
In one year, the Green Armada collected more than 62 tons of trash and recruited 652 recurring volunteers and 1,100 one-time volunteers.
Maksimowicz hosted the largest coastal clean-up in the history of the Southern United States: In Clam Bayou, Florida, more than 700 volunteers pulled 9 tons of garbage in 2.5 hours.