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Adopt a Beach | Eco-Friendly Solutions | Talking Trash for Clean Oceans

Marine Debris

You can be part of the Solution!

Become a beachkeeper with our Adopt a Beach Program!

Join us in the fall during International Coastsweep.

Change your use of plastics with these 10 "Things You Can Do!" from
Karen Ristuben and to see her videos


PLASTICS - a major pollutant!

Plastic makes it into our oceans in a variety of ways. About twenty percent of it comes from goods lost from boats: i.e. accidental loss of fishing tackle and other recreational gear, massive shipping containers carrying millions of plastic items washed overboard during severe storms; litter from pleasure boats, or illegal dumping of unwanted goods. Beachgoers' debris is also a contributor. The other eighty percent is swept in from land. Just as Nonpoint Source Pollution from fertilizers, detergents, and pesticides find their way into our waters, so too are plastic items washing into our blue oceans. A discarded bottle cap or an empty sandwich bag thoughtlessly left along the side of the road will eventually be blown or kicked or washed into a storm drain, which will then shoot it straight into the ocean. Not all plastic floats. In fact, nearly half of it sinks to the bottom of the ocean where there it brings death and destruction to the bottom of the ocean floor. Additionally, plastic is made from petrochemicals; so every disposable toothbrush we buy or plastic bag we do not reuse adds to our already crippling dependence on oil.

from Sailors for the Sea Ocean Watch Essays


Top Ten Offending Itemss

Results from International Coastsweep. Salem Sound Coastwatch and its hundreds of dedicated beachkeepers and community volunteers were part of the cleanups and sent in our tally of trash.


Recipe for disaster: "Take 5,000,000 square miles of ocean; mix in 850,000 pieces of colorful plastic per square mile; infuse all ingredients into the food web of fish, seabirds, marine mammals & microscopic organisms; simmer for a decade until plastic doubles; serve to humankind..." Charles Moore, expert in marine plastic pollution. Moore's research vessel "Algalita" travels the world's ceans to document the extent of this tragedy. Learn more at Algalita Marine Research Foundation.


Check out the 5 Gyres. Find out "What's the Problem? Plastics: Made to last forever, designed to throwaway."


10 Things to Do for Clean Oceans