During this years’ EcoWeek Florida Keys (August 15-23), the Wyland Ocean Realm Team will be spearheading the first-ever Microplastic beach cleanup.
“Most consider a beach cleanup as getting out and picking up plastic and other non-biodegradable objects off the beach, but what many do not know is there is an even larger problem looming and it is smaller than 5mm in size,” states Editor-in-Chief, Richard H. Stewart.
What are Microplastics?
Every time you wash your clothes, it releases 2,000 particles into the water system and showing up in ocean water from Maine to Palau, killing some of the wildlife that mistakenly eat them and leaching toxins into the food web.
Many marine animals ingest plastics, even down to mollusks like mussels and clams. All spectrum of marine life has the potential to take in these small particles.
Once ingested by animals, microplastic can be taken up and stored by tissues and cells. This bioaccumulation of pollutants can have negative consequences for wildlife and humans.
”Many common household items including cleaning supplies and toothpaste have plastic micro- beads in them,” explains Stewart. “Microplastics are also produced when larger plastic items like bottles or bags break down.”
In addition to enjoying the diving, kayaking and nature activities in the Keys why not contribute a few hours to assisting in the cleaning of the beaches.
To volunteer, send a note to BeachCleanup@WylandOceanRealm.com and follow the activities at www.Facebook.com/EcoWeekFloridaKeys.