Since 1972, the Ocean Conservancy has created concrete solutions to ensure a healthy ocean for generations to come. Over the years, the organization has addressed the need for better fisheries management and the need to reduce the effects of bycatch (marine species accidentally caught in fish nets). The Conservancy has also helped to create National Marine Sanctuaries and serves as the lead non-governmental organization in the designation of 10 of the 13 marine sanctuaries.

The Lake Erie Bluffs Park, one of many areas protected by the Western Reserve Land Conservancy.

Ocean Conservancy played a leading role in the assessment and restoration of damage that was caused by the 2010 explosion of BP’s Deepwater Horizon rig. The organization plays a pivotal role every year with the International Coastal Cleanup event.

This past fall was the 28th year of Ocean Conservancy’s Coastal Cleanup which resulted in eye-opening results. The total amount of trashed picked up weighed more than 12 million pounds. This total is an indicator of the tremendous amount of ocean trash found on shorelines and in the ocean and waterways around the globe.

While the report shows celebration of a truly international volunteer effort to rid the world’s beaches of trash and debris, Ocean Conservancy is also using this occasion to make a worldwide appeal to find solutions to stopping the flow of trash into the ocean.

volunteers collect trash along Pacific Missle Range Facility

“Ocean trash truly is a global problem that affects human health and safety, endangers marine wildlife, and costs states and nations countless millions in wasted resources and lost revenue,” said Andreas Merkl, Ocean Conservancy’s president and CEO.

To put the 12 million pounds into perspective here are some comparisons:

  • The trash collection by volunteers would fill roughly 30 Olympic size swimming pools and is equivalent to the weight of 823 male African elephants.
  • The amount of fishing line collected would go up and over Mount Everest five times.
  • The number of bottle caps found would carpet three football fields when laid side by side.

Last fall, members of the Ocean Conservancy’s Trash Free Seas Alliance convened to chart a course for possible interventions aimed at tackling debris at the source. During the meeting, scientists, industry and conversation leaders discussed the implications of the latest insights from the scientific community and defined three innovative work stream to confront marine plastics. Ocean Conservancy’s Trash Free Seas scientists and program staff joined expeditions in Alaska and Maine to survey ocean plastics, in particular, to better understand the origins of debris and how and where it travels once it’s in the ocean.

To continues its efforts, Ocean Conservancy partnered with the Wrightsville Beach Sea Turtle Project and Wrightsville Beach – Keep It Clean in North Carolina to launch a pilot project to better understand and protect sea turtles from the dangers of marine debris littering nesting beaches. The project is expanding to nesting beaches throughout the southeast U.S and Gulf of Mexico during the 2014 nesting season.

Ocean Conservancy is working hard to see that the ocean’s most extraordinary places are preserved for future generations to use and enjoy. Here at Budget Dumpster, we strive to keep our world a green place. Maybe someday Budget Dumpster will be able to deliver dumpsters to the ocean floor!

Source: Science Daily