Science does not lie. It’s unbiased and based on what is. And the science shows there’s no doubt about it: ocean pollution is a big problem.
Scientists have recorded nearly 700 species of marine wildlife that have been affected by marine debris. With an estimated eight million metric tons of plastic waste entering the ocean every year from land, that means marine species will be living in an ocean that could contain one ton of plastic for every three tons of fish by 2025!
And there’s much more to the problem than floating bags, bottles and fishing nets—as many as 51 trillion pieces of microplastic (plastic pieces less than five millimeters) now circulate in the ocean. The sources of these microplastics are diverse, resulting from large products breaking into smaller pieces or the shedding of microfibers from tires and even yoga pants.
Fortunately, we’re not the only ones worried about ocean plastic pollution. Just this week, four leading senators introduced bi-partisan legislation to help solve this problem. The Marine Debris Act Amendments of 2017 was introduced by Senator Sullivan (R-AK), Sen. Murkowski (R-AK), Sen. Whitehouse (D-RI) and Sen. Booker (D-NJ).
This legislation will support the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) research to better understand the impacts of this growing threat and identify solutions to stop the flow of plastic waste into our ocean, including reducing and better managing solid municipal waste.
Take action today by telling your Senators to support this important piece of legislation.
For more than 30 years, Ocean Conservancy has been at the forefront of solutions targeting marine debris with partner organizations and individuals around the world. Starting with our first International Coastal Cleanup on the beach of South Padre Island, Texas, we have helped mobilize nearly 12 million volunteers in support of preventing marine debris.
No American wants to visit a polluted beach this summer and this legislation will support NOAA’s continued efforts to help stop the marine debris crisis.
Taking action and working together will help us move towards a healthier, more resilient ocean for ourselves and for future generations.