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Thursday, August 31, 2017

Trash Free Seas- Fighting to Make Our Oceans Clean

Trash Free Seas- Fighting to Make Our Oceans Clean
A healthy ocean means clean, beautiful coasts for vacationers. If the ocean isn’t healthy, neither are we. The food we eat, the water we drink and the air we breathe all come from our waterways. Our oceans provide us with one sixth of the animal protein we eat, and give us half of our oxygen!

plastic accounts for 60-80 percent of ocean trash

Our Oceans Are in Danger
Unfortunately, the world’s most precious resources are threatened by the very humans who rely on them for survival. Toxic metals, oil spills, and industrial waste such as acids and toxins, pollute waterways and harm sea life. Trash, especially plastic, accumulates in our oceans at an alarming rate. Plastics now pollute all dimensions of our waterways from the sea surface to the seafloor, on remote beaches and in Arctic sea ice. It is estimated that there are 5.25 trillion pieces of plastic debris in the ocean. About 60%-80% of all marine debris is composed of plastic. Much of the waste that is dumped into our oceans will wash up on coastlines, polluting everything it comes into contact with, including beaches, animals, and sea life.

turtle sea life stuck in plastic trash

Cleanups Matter
While this information seems discouraging, conservation efforts can make a difference.  The Ocean Conservancy, founded in 1972, is committed to the cause. Each year, the Conservancy sponsors the International Coastal Cleanup, a worldwide effort to clean our waterways. Nearly 12 million people and counting have been part of the effort since its inception. In 2016 alone, over 750,000 volunteers collected over 18 MILLION pounds of trash for waterways and covered over 25,000 miles. That’s equivalent to traveling from Athens, Greece to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil four times! The amount of trash collected weighed more than 100 Boeing 737s. Volunteers from across the globe, including the US, the Philippines, Kenya, Sweden and more have made a difference by collecting and removing trash from our precious oceans!

top 10 items trash found in oceans
Courtesy, Ocean Conservancy

You Can Make A Difference
You can help protect valuable resources by participating in the annual International Coastal Cleanup, sponsored by the Ocean Conservancy. You’ll join millions of volunteers who love the ocean and want to protect it.  Check out local cleanup efforts and sign up to clean up. Or, start a cleanup of your own! The Ocean Conservancy offers tools to help you plan your cleanup and record data. You can make a difference by joining this amazing effort.

Sub Sea Systems is contributing by organizing our annual corporate Reef Alliance Day cleanup event, in coordination with The Great American River Cleanup. SSS staff will be working to clear trash from Nimbus Fish Hatchery, Gold River, CA, on Saturday, September 16th, from 9-noon. We would love to have you join us for this year’s cleanup. For more information on this effort, email us. With you, we can make a difference and help our waterways stay healthy for generations to come.