Keeping Our Waterways Clean: How You Can Help

Good News on the Water Front

As we mentioned earlier this year in Experts Warn of More Plastic than Fish in the Sea, the world’s waterways are getting a reputation for becoming rather “trashy.” And it’s a huge problem for a variety of reasons.

As just one example, marine animals like sea birds and turtles often mistake floating debris for food. Some, like these Laysan albatrosses on the Midway Atoll, accidentally pick it up as they skim the water with their beaks. And smaller sea creatures can also be fooled by disintegrating plastic, mistaking it for plankton.

We Can All Do Something
However, there’s a lot we can do as individuals to help stem the rising tide of plastic in our waterways. Simply cutting back on the amount of plastic we use every day is a good start.

We can also spread awareness about this problem by sharing blogs like this one, which will earn Eco Points that will benefit The Washed Ashore Project. In turn, Washed Ashore helps create even more awareness about the problems of plastic pollution via their beautiful sculptures made entirely from marine debris.

A Trashcan for Our Waterways

And some corporations are also focused on the problem of marine debris. For example, The Seabin Project uses an ingenious bucket-and-pump technology to create an automated “trashcan” that works in the water to remove floating trash, plastics and other debris—even oil, detergents and fuel. Designed for smaller bodies of water, like in marinas, ports, yacht clubs, lakes and rivers, the Seabin catches pollution in a natural fiber bag from which the water is sucked out and then pumped back into the water.

A Dumpster for the Pacific Garbage Patch

And ocean-cleaning on a grander scale is also underway through the efforts of The Ocean Cleanup, a Dutch foundation developing advanced technologies to rid the world’s oceans of plastic. Currently the company is testing a smaller version of a floating barrier that will rely on winds, waves and currents to passively capture plastic pollution in the ocean. By 2020 it hopes to deploy its full-scale system between California and Hawaii. According to its website, “One passive system could theoretically remove about half the Great Pacific Garbage Patch in 10 years.” That sounds like great news to us!

comment_2We applaud the young entrepreneurs heading these companies for their creative ideas and basic stick-to-it-iveness. How about you? How do you lead the charge within your own sphere of influence when it comes to keeping our waterways free of plastic and other debris? Just leave us a comment below!

Movement Blog: Experts Warn of More Plastic than Fish in the Sea
Ocean Portal: Laysan Albatrosses’ Plastic Problem
Movement Blog: One Less Plastic Bottle: Avoiding Plastics
YouTube: The Seabin Project
The Seabin Project Website
Indiegogo: The Seabin Project
ABC: Massive Ocean Garbage Collector to Be Tested in North Sea
The Ocean Cleanup Project

Have you ever participated in a beach or waterway cleanup?

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