On Tuesday we had a special visit from Will Soltau. Mr. Soltau works at Living Oceans here in Sointula and is the project manager for Clear the Coast.
Will told us that millions of tonnes of waste, mostly plastic, end up in the ocean and washing up on the coastline every year. More and more plastic keeps ending up in the ocean and it doesn’t bio-degrade. It does break down into smaller and smaller pieces because of the sun and that is a real problem too. Mrs. Soltau told us that the plastic in the ocean is just as bad as the oil spills because it lasts a long time too.
Photo by Kevin Krejci
Mr. Soltau showed us examples of the types of plastic that can end up in the ocean. We talked about plastic bags that can look like jellyfish, 6 pack holders that can strangle and cut into animals, plastic strapping that can harm larger animals, and Styrofoam that can be swallowed by animals looking for food. We learned that animals ingest the plastic and it gets into their systems. This can be very dangerous. The animals aren’t getting the nutrients that they should be getting and can even die because of the plastic.
We also learned about other types of marine debris that can be found in the ocean and washed up on our beaches. We talked about lost and abandoned fishing gear, derelict and abandoned boats, and debris that has found its way here from the tsunami in Japan.
Here are some of the things that really stood out to us:
Sharon-If you find garbage on the beach you should pick it up and bring it home to put in recycling or the garbage.
Bronwen-It is really bad if oil goes in the ocean. It can kill animals if they breathe it in. Some animals like sea lions and sea otters can get trapped in old nets that are floating around and they can die.
Brooklynn-When there is plastic or Styrofoam on the beaches it can break into smaller pieces. If they eat it it is bad because it isn’t nutritious and they can also choke on it when it is floating around and they think it is food and they eat it. People should clean up their mess before they go home or it can get back into the ocean and kill more animals.
Linden-If you go down to the beach you might find the plastic things that go around pop. Fish can swim through them and they caught in them.
May-Animals can die just by oil.
Jacob-If you leave something in the ocean, like a strap, it can go around an animals neck and choke it and it could die.
Lily-There was a dock that because of the tsunami washed up on the shore and all sorts of life forms from Japan actually completed a whole life cycle on the dock. It is impossible to believe that they survived.
Koa-It is really bad if you leave garbage on the beach or in the lakes because you could kill animals.
Teagan-Animals think that the plastic in the ocean is food and then they eat it and can die.
Kezra-If there are plastic bags in the ocean, turtles and sun fish think they look like something good to eat. They look like jellyfish. If they eat them they will get sick and die. If there are more plastic bags it will happen to more and more sun fish. Baby animals can get stuck in 6 pack holders. It can suffocate or choke them and they can die.
Jorja-When people put their crab traps out and never come back, the more crabs keep getting stuck in the trap and the other crabs become bait. There are big patches of garbage everywhere like in California.
Solomon-Dave and I went out to check our crab trap and there were plastic bags in it.
We learned that Living Oceans is sponsoring a beach clean-up June 7, 2013 for Oceans Day. We hope that everyone in town will come and do what they can to help the ocean.
We would also like to challenge all our blogging buddies and readers around the world to do something to help the ocean, especially those of you that live near the water.
What will you do to help the ocean?