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World Oceans Day


Every year, the United Nations marks World Oceans Day on June 8th.  It's an opportunity to celebrate the importance of the ocean - and to better understand how to interact with it in a sustainable manner.  The ocean is critical to the survival of the planet and all its inhabitants.  The National Ocean Service states that the ocean produces over half of the world's oxygen and stores 50 times more carbon than the atmosphere.  Since the ocean covers 70% of the Earth's surface, it is crucial to the regulation of our climate and weather patterns, transporting heat from the equator to the poles. 

People are polluting our ocean - destroying countless ecosystems and wildlife in the process.  In 2010, there was approximately 2.5 billion metric tons of solid waste produced by 192 countries bordering the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian Oceans - as well as the Mediterranean and Black Seas.  Plastic waste accounted for 275 million metric tons. The worst number yet: 8 million metric tons of plastic go into the ocean EVERY year.  It's everywhere - the more we look, the more we find. Accumulated plastic on ocean surfaces and beaches has become a global crisis. It's found everywhere, from the office to the grocery store, from the kitchen to the bathrooms. Plastic is inexpensive and easy to manufacture, but most of the plastic we consume is used once and discarded. Just 9% of all plastic created is ever recycled, while 12% is incinerated. The rest – 79% – is sent to landfills, or what’s increasingly common, it ends up in the environment, in our rivers and lakes, beaches, and oceans.  Ocean Conservancy estimates that by 2025 there will be one pound of plastic for every three pounds of fish in the ocean.  There's expected to be more plastic than fish in the ocean by 2050. According to National Geographic, microplastics have been detected in marine organisms from plankton to whales, in commercial seafood, and even in drinking water. Plastics can take up to thousands of years to decompose.


So how does all this trash end up in our oceans?  In Florida, the greatest source of water pollution is stormwater. This condition originates from rainwater after it hits the ground. Stormwater runoff picks up waste and debris as it flows across the roads and land, carrying pollutants into our waterways. This is why it's important to dispose of trash and waste properly so that it doesn’t become polluted stormwater runoff.

We love where we live.  A place where dolphins play, manatees graze, and rays surf the waters edge.  Living in paradise comes with the added responsibility to protect our waters.  What better way to celebrate the Ocean than by picking up trash BEFORE it reaches are waters! 

To celebrate World Oceans Day this year, we have planned two cleanup events on June 8th, 2024, from 8 am to 12 pm. One will be an inland cleanup at Anclote Gulf Park in Holiday, and the other will be a kayak cleanup departing from the Energy Marine Center in Port Richey. Volunteer registration is open through June 1st, 2024.


Thank you to our partners

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