Can we talk trash? Ocean trash, that is. We’ve all seen the staggering pictures of shorelines littered with trash. Latest estimates put the number of plastic pieces in the ocean at 5.25 trillion. The exact scale of the problem is difficult to quantity, as much of the trash has partially broken down into tiny globular particles. But picture this: every piece of plastic ever manufactured is still around today.
The world’s oceans are downstream from everywhere, which means that a significant portion of the trash we make on land ends up in the sea, carried from lakes down rivers. This is why Ocean Matters has launched our land-locked beach cleanups— Land Pirates: Let’s Talk Trash. By cleaning up our rivers and lakes, we will be cleaning up our oceans.
The world’s oceans are downstream from everywhere. . .
It’s well documented that ocean trash affects marine life, but it also threatens us. As plastic breaks down, the toxins are ingested by fish and concentrate dangerous chemicals in the food chain. We are essentially discarding plastic that we will later ingest. Blecck!
We are essentially discarding plastic that we will later ingest. Blecck!
Fortunately, we know so many of you are concerned about this issue and are rolling up your sleeves across the world to stop plastic pollution at its source and before it reaches our oceans. Today, volunteers got up early to join young people from the Las Vegas area to clean up trash from Lake Mead, which empties into the Gulf of Mexica, via the Colorado River.
It was a great time for a greater cause!
Thank you to all the volunteers that came out to make a difference.
Grab your hooks, mateys! And join us for a Land-Pirates land-locked beach cleanup! Because the ocean matters. . .and you do too!
Find out if there’s a cleanup scheduled near you or host one yourself.
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Laura Parker Roerden is the founding director of Ocean Matters and the former managing editor of Educators for Social Responsibility and New Designs for Youth Development. She serves on the boards of Women Working for Oceans (W20) and Earth, Ltd. and is a member of the Pleiades Network of Women in Sustainability.