Do your part to reduce marine debris

This post is our contribution to the worldwide Bloggers Against Abuse campaign, part of the Blogging for a Great Cause Challenge, sponsored by BlogCatalog. Bloggers all over the world are uniting today to write about how to put an end to some form of abuse. We thought it fitting that our topic should be about abuse of the marine environment.

Our intention today is to raise awareness about one common issue related to abuse of the marine environment -- a problem that everyday people actually can do something about. That issue is marine debris.

According to the Ocean Conservancy:
From urban trash to abandoned fishing gear, marine debris is one of the world's most pervasive marine pollution problems. Every year it injures and kills thousands of marine animals that swallow it or become entangled in it and causes harm to important aquatic habitats, like coral reefs and seagrass beds.
Here are a few things you can do to help keep debris off our beaches and out of our oceans:
  • Dispose of trash properly at the beach, or while boating. Things you discard on the beach get washed out to sea. Things you toss overboard when you are boating stay in the ocean. The ocean is not a trash bin. Just because you can't see things after you toss them into the ocean doesn't mean they are no longer there.
  • Pick up trash and debris that you see -- even if it is not your own. Clean up the area around you when you leave the beach. Take all trash and debris with you and dispose of it properly.
  • Clean up reef debris when you dive. Take along a mesh bag in your pocket. If you see any cans, bottles, plastic items, or discarded fishing tackle underwater, pick them up, put them into your mesh bag, and discard them properly when you come back to shore.
  • Raise awareness and promote community involvement. Organize and participate in beach clean-up and reef clean-up activities. These are good ways to raise public awareness about the issue of marine debris and to engage people in your community to tackle this problem.
We ask everyone who visits our oceans and shorelines -- swimmers, divers, surfers, fishermen, boaters and beach-goers -- to be mindful of their impact on the marine environment. Do whatever you can to reduce the amount of debris on our beaches and in our oceans.

For more information, visit the Ocean Conservancy's web page about marine debris, and the NOAA Marine Debris Program page.


  1. As a person who lives 3 blocks from the Mississippi and loves to be on the river i see a lot of the same thing here. People just chuck things in, and along the river without any thought. It's sickening.

  2. Hi Mike -

    Thanks for reminding us that the problem exists in other waterways as well. And much of what gets tossed into rivers eventually ends up in the sea, too.

    It takes so little effort for people to just take their own trash (at least) to a proper place to dispose of.


  3. In mauritius the situation in the oceans is almost the same! On sunday afternoons the beaches are like huge trash cans. I just don't understand why people behave like this! It does not cost much effort to use a recycle bin as these are found in almost every square of the beaches!

  4. I've lived in Arizona for the last 3 years. But before that I lived in Huntington Beach, California for about 8. I loved it there but was always sad when we were looking for our spot to plop down in the sand and we had to kick, pick up and dispose of TRASH that people would leave. I can only painfully imagine what makes it deeper into the ocean.
    Great topic to cover. I like the desert now too, but was born in OC and will always have a love of the ocean.

  5. Hi Morinn and Earthsines -

    Thank you both for your comments. Unfortunately it seems like this problem is global.


  6. Great post! It is a shame - we see it on our beaches in New England as well.

  7. What a wonderful, unique post against a very important issue. Thanks for sharing.

  8. thanks for the reminder. i am gonna re-start my "mini beach clean", a habit i abandoned a while ago (got my head caught in debris ;^D ) the next time i'm down there!

  9. Thank you, kml, Cindy, and webmaster pomona for your comments.

    Looks like we are all literally on the same page. ;-}



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Bobbie & Jerry