Ocean Conservancy Reveals World's Only Snapshot of Marine Trash


Photo credit: Getty Images
The Ocean Conservancy released its annual report on trash in the ocean on Thursday, including new data from the 2007 International Coastal Cleanup, which the non-profit calls the "most comprehensive snapshot of the harmful impacts of marine debris."

This year, over 378,000 volunteers participated in cleanups around every major body of water across the globe, not only to remove trash from the world's beaches and waterways, but also to identify the sources of debris found on land and underwater.

"Our ocean is sick," says Laura Capps, senior vice president at the Ocean Conservancy, in a press release "And the plain truth is that our ocean ecosystem cannot protect us unless it is healthy and resilient. Harmful impacts like trash in the ocean, pollution, climate change, and habitat destruction are taking its toll. But the good news is that hundreds of thousands of people from around the world are starting a sea change by joining together to clean up the ocean. Trash doesn't' fall from the sky it falls from people's hands. With the International Coastal Cleanup, everyone has an opportunity to make a difference, not just on one day but all year long."Marine trash kills more than one million seabirds and 100,000 marine mammals and turtles each year through ingestion and entanglement, says the Ocean Conservancy. This year, volunteers found 81 birds, 63 fish, 49 invertebrates, 30 mammals, 11 reptiles, and one amphibian entangled in debris such as plastic bags, fishing lines, fishing nets, six-pack holders, balloon and kite strings, glass bottles, and cans.

The top 10 debris items collected during the 2007 event include:

  • Cigarettes/cigarette filters

  • Food wrappers/containers

  • Caps/lids

  • Bags

  • Plastic beverage bottles

  • Cups/plates/forks/knives/spoons

  • Glass beverage bottles

  • Cigar tips

  • Straws/stirrers

  • Beverage cans

Download the full report on the Ocean Conservancy's Web site. ::Ocean Conservancy

See also: ::The 10 Solutions to Save the Oceans

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