The Beacon

Blog Tags: Litter

The Dangers of Ocean Litter, Writ Large

Even dolphin statues are not safe from the dangers of entanglement in ocean litter like this plastic 6-pack ring

In an apparent guerilla stunt, a wildlife sculpture in downtown Vancouver has been "caught" in a giant plastic 6-pack ring. The sculpture, located at the corner of Georgia and Thurlow Streets, depicts two dolphins, whose necks are now caught in the giant plastic rings marked with the "PlasticPollutionCoalition.org" web address.

This stunt is a large-scale reminder of the dangers of litter, particularly plastics, in our ocean. Approximately 75-80 million tons of plastics are used every year to produce the world's food packaging alone, and a large proportion of these plastics inevitably end up in our oceans. Almost 80% of the garbage found in the ocean comes from land-based sources, with the majority being packaging and food containers like the ubiquitous 6-pack ring featured in this guerilla demonstration. This garbage kills sea creatures by strangling them, drowning them through entanglement, or even starving them through malnutrition when ingested debris in the creatures' stomachs prevents them from getting the food and nutrients that they require. 


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How to Be an Ocean Hero this Summer

© zeroXTE.com

It's World Oceans Day, so what better time to take a moment to think about doing your part to help protect our water planet?

Don’t worry, you don’t have to be a Peter Wallerstein or a Sophi Bromenshenkel to be an everyday ocean hero. This summer, we’re asking everyone to take small steps in their lives to help the oceans. Those little things all add up to heroic efforts.

When you pledge to be an ocean hero with us, you can choose between three options -- clean up your local waterway, eat sustainable seafood or recycle. Here’s the skinny:

1. Clean up your local beach or waterway.

There’s a lot of litter on beaches and riverbanks, and much of it could end up in a sea turtle or sea bird’s stomach, or in the Pacific gyre. Picking up garbage on the beach is an easy way to help the oceans.

Extra credit: Take pictures of your clean-up on your iPhone and post them to Instagram. Make sure to tag your photos #ocean and check www.oceana.org/heroes to see what other ocean heroes are up to this summer.

Double extra credit: While you’re cleaning up, support Oceana’s cause by wearing Nautica’s World Oceans Day t-shirt, made from 100 percent organic cotton. The proceeds will benefit our work to protect and restore the world’s oceans.

2. Eat sustainable seafood.

Use the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch guide at the seafood counter or restaurant to make smart and sustainable seafood choices.

Extra credit: Check out our sustainable seafood guides on Foodspotting. The next time you’re eating fish at a restaurant, share pictures from your smart phone on Foodspotting and let others know where they should (and shouldn’t!) go for seafood.

Double extra credit: Check out “For Cod and Country,” a guide to casual, sustainable cuisine by acclaimed Washington DC chef and National Geographic Fellow Barton Seaver.

3. Reuse and recycle.

Take a hint from junior ocean hero finalist Wyatt Workman and don’t be a trash monster – reuse as much as possible, and when you can’t, recycle.

Extra credit: Nix bottled water and get the Oceana water bottle from Nautica. (I have one and it’s the best water bottle I’ve ever owned, hands down.)

Double extra credit: Check out sunglasses from Revo’s Eco Collection; they’re made from Revo Re-Use™, a frame material made from 100 percent recycled pre-consumer polymer resins.

Have you taken the pledge yet? Don’t forget to share it on Facebook and Twitter. Got any other ideas for how to make a difference for the oceans this summer? Let us know in the comments. And thanks to the hundreds of you who have already pledged!


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