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New Data Shows What Trash is in Ocean and Waterways

March 27, 2012

Cleanup found enough discarded clothing to outfit entire audience of the 2012 Summer Olympics Opening Ceremony

WASHINGTON, March 27, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — With the recent news of possible Japan tsunami debris spotted off the Canadian coast, Ocean Conservancy is releasing new data on the larger issue of marine debris. New numbers detail ocean trash found along coasts and waterways worldwide during the 2011 International Coastal Cleanup–the largest annual volunteer effort for the ocean.

“Our volunteers picked up enough food packaging for a person to get takeout for breakfast, lunch and dinner every day for the next 858 years,” said Vikki Spruill, Ocean Conservancy’s President and CEO. “Ocean trash is human-generated, preventable and one of the biggest threats to our ocean and waterways.”

“Our top 10 list consistently shows that what you use, eat and drink in our everyday life ends up in the ocean,” Spruill added. “We need to stop trash at its source, and the biggest impact we can have involves the choices each of us make every day. You can make a big difference for our ocean by taking personal responsibility for your own trash, and that can start with small changes, such as properly disposing of trash and choosing reusable bags, bottles and picnic supplies.”

This year, the scientific field of marine debris had an extra challenge with the aftermath of the Japan tsunami. While researchers are still working to learn more about what resulted from this unavoidable natural disaster, one thing is known: tsunami-related debris was unpreventable, but ocean trash is – when everyone is part of the solution.

“The Cleanup shows beaches suffered from marine debris before the tsunami and will continue to until our vision of Trash Free Seas is realized,” Spruill said. “We must make our ocean more resilient for when unthinkable, unpreventable disasters do occur.”

The Cleanup is part of Ocean Conservancy’s vision of Trash Free Seas, and is one of the many ways the organization is helping find solutions on the issue of marine debris. Other Ocean Conservancy-led efforts include building a Trash Free Seas Alliance® of industry, science and conservation leaders committed to reduce waste and supporting a working group at the world’s leading ecological think tank, NCEAS, The National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis, to identify the scope and impact of marine debris on ocean ecosystems.

Media Contact: Katie Cline, 202-351-0482, kcline@oceanconservancy.org

SOURCE Ocean Conservancy


Source: PR Newswire