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Posts Tagged ‘marine debris’

A Word A Week Photograph Challenge – Run

Posted by Jody on March 11, 2014

“All the rivers run into the sea,
Yet the sea is not full;
To the place from which the rivers come,
There they return again.”

~ Ecclesiastes

River to the Sea - Morning in New Orleans

Sunrise on the Mississippi River


“Land-based discharges of human-made debris comprise the largest source of marine debris in oceans world-wide (nearly 80%). The Plastic Debris, Rivers to Sea Project seeks to minimize the land-based discharges of marine debris. Just like ocean-based marine debris, land-based discharges of human-made debris are comprised mostly of plastics.”

Source: Plastic Debris, Rivers to Sea Project

Related links:

Join the National River Cleanup: American

Find a coastal clean up near you: International Coastal Cleanup

California Coastal Commission: The Problem With Marine Debris


This week’s A Word A Week Photograph Challenge topic is “Run.”

Posted in Today's Special | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments »

Japanese Tsunami Debris: What Beachgoers Need to Know

Posted by Jody on January 31, 2013

Yaquina Bay, Oregon Coast

Yaquina Bay, Oregon Coast

Will you be heading to the beaches of North America’s West Coast this year? Beachcombing is one of the greatest pleasures for seashore enthusiasts, and the West Coast is well known for delighting us with a bounty of beautiful beach treasures! From driftwood to Giant Rock Scallops and sand dollars to polished agates, Mother Nature uses time, tides, and currents to provide us with the most fascinating finds.

Beachcombers in Hawaii, and from California to Alaska, might also expect to find an increased amount of ocean debris washed onto beaches over the next few years. According to NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration), due to the massive 9.0 Japanese earthquake and devastating tsunami of March, 2011, tsunami caused marine debris is already arriving on our Pacific shores. (Check out NOAA’s Tsunami Debris Sighting map.)

NOAA is leading efforts with federal, state, and local partners to collect data, assess the debris, and reduce possible impacts to our natural resources and coastal communities.

There is no reason to avoid beaches. Radiation experts believe it is highly unlikely any debris is radioactive, and the debris is not in a mass. Beachgoers may notice an increase in debris near-shore or on the coast, adding to the marine debris that washes up every day. The public should continue to visit and enjoy our coasts—and help keep them clean.

Sign posted at Yaquina Bay, Oregon

Tsunami Debris Watch sign posted at Yaquina Bay, Oregon

Ocean Conservancy has a wonderful website which includes an abundance of interesting and informative topics having to do with the expected arrival of tsunami debris. Subjects include:


Tsunami Debris 101

Get straight answers to the facts and myths of tsunami debris and what we can do to help.


What is Tsunami Debris?

How can you tell tsunami debris from regular ocean trash? Our scientist has the answers.


Tsunami Debris Field Guide

Learn about the most common items that have been washing onto beaches in large numbers.

We always try to encourage our fellow beachcombers and shore dreamers to “know before you go!”

Tsunami DebrisFind it. Bag it. Leave it. Now we know!


Posted in Beach Treasures - Beachcombing, Beaches of The Hawaiian Islands, Pacific Coast Beaches, Sand and Shoreline | Tagged: , , , , , | 7 Comments »

Join the 27th Annual International Coastal Cleanup! *September 15, 2012*

Posted by Jody on September 7, 2012

The sea, the great unifier, is man’s only hope. Now, as never before, the old phrase has a literal meaning: we are all in the same boat. 

~Jacques Yves Cousteau

Sunset over the Pacific Ocean

In celebration of the Great Lakes (and who doesn’t like a good celebration?), The Alliance for the Great Lakes is organizing The Annual September Adopt-a-Beach Cleanup Event. This year’s cleanup is scheduled for Saturday, September 15th. Not coincidentally, the Alliance’s event coincides with the Ocean Conservancy’s 27th Annual International Coastal Cleanup!

According to the Ocean Conservancy, last year’s International Coastal Cleanup volunteers found:

  • Enough clothing (266,997 items) to outfit every expected audience member of the London 2012 Summer Olympics opening ceremony.
  • Enough food packaging (940,277 pieces) to get takeout for breakfast, lunch and dinner every day for the next 858 years.
  • Enough light bulbs (24,384 bulbs) to replace every light on the Eiffel Tower.
  • Enough beverage cans and glass beverage containers that, if recycled, would net $45,489.15.

“The Blue Marble”  Earth seen from Apollo 17 (Source: NASA/Wikimedia Commons)

The annual International Coastal Cleanup is the largest volunteer effort for the ocean, bringing out hundreds of thousands of volunteers from around the world to remove millions of pounds of trash and debris from beaches, lakes and waterways while recording every piece of trash that is found. This data is collected and analyzed to produce annual reports that provide insight into the global problem of ocean trash. Using the data, Ocean Conservancy mobilizes the public, and works with industry and government to end marine debris through its Trash Free Seas Alliance.

Here is a list of a few organizations I was able to find that will also be involved in volunteer shoreline cleanups scheduled for September 15, 2012.

Canada: The Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup

The United Kingdom: The Marine Conservation Society Beachwatch Big Weekend

Viet Nam: AmCham’s International Coastal Cleanup

Singapore: International Coastal Cleanup Singapore

Mississippi River Tributary Structure (Author: Shannon, Source: DEMIS Mapserver/Wikimedia Commons)

United States rivers and streams: American Rivers marks the 21st year of  the National River Cleanup this year. According to The Plastic Debris, Rivers to Sea Project: “Land-based discharges of human-made debris comprise the largest source of marine debris in oceans world-wide (nearly 80%).”

Many towns, cities, and organizations across the US, and around the world, have shoreline cleanup events planned throughout the month of September. Streams, rivers, lakes and oceans are being targeted by volunteers around the globe. It’s easy to check with your local organizations to find out more about how you can become a volunteer for annual and ongoing events in your area. Of course, we don’t need to wait until the annual International Coastal Cleanup date. We can do our part year round.

Please feel free to leave a comment and keep us posted on International Coastal Cleanup events in your area!

*  does not specifically endorse any of the above listed organizations. What we do endorse is keeping our waterways, lakes and oceans clean – year round!*

Posted in Sand and Shoreline | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

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