One Man’s Trash is Another Ocean’s Killer!

Photo by Joseph Ramirez

Mackenzie Sessoms, Sandpaper Writer

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The beach is a great place to lounge, play, and think to yourself! Unless of course, a few empty bottles and a pile of garbage washes up next to you. It seems as though wherever you go to enjoy nature or meditate, at least a hundred pieces of trash are there to join you. Pollution has become one of the most serious issues in today’s society, and it is up to us, the people who occupy this world, to try and make things right by cleaning up after ourselves. The ocean has become our greatest concern as a recent study done by The Week confirmed that at least 14 million pieces of plastic have polluted our ocean, and has taken a toll on the Marine Life.

We already know that trash in any ecosystem hurts the life preserved there, but by far, the ocean life seems to be getting it the worse. In the article, “Our Plastic Oceans” by The Week, “The Convention on Biological Diversity counts 663 species affected by plastic pollution in the ocean.” Not only are they affected, but the plastic is actively killing off the wildlife in more ways than just one. A whale was found dead in a Thai canal and the reason why may put doubts in your head about where exactly your trash should go. When he was found and examined, 17 pounds of plastic including 80 plastic bags were found in the stomach and confirmed as the cause of death. Whales are not the only animal that mistakes the plastic as food, though. Birds, cats, dogs, and other animals don’t know better, either. With all the destruction this plastic is causing, who’s to say it’s not going to affect the human race next?

Luckily, not everyone has given up on our planet. Many people who have come to realize that our environment is being affected have come forward and helped to try and make the world a better place. In fact, a massive ocean cleanup is going to be taking place in Alameda, California. The Ocean Cleanup is going to start in the Pacific Ocean on September 8, 2018, after five years of planning it out. “The Ocean Cleanup plans to monitor the performance of the beta, called System 001, and have an improved fleet of 60 more units skimming the ocean for plastics in about a year and a half.” Stated by Jeff Kart, a contributor to Forbes.com. The System 001 is a beta that will analyze just how much trash is entering the ocean and track the process of the cleanup. So far, it has been doing the job, and more systems have been approved to help out.

Many more projects geared towards helping clean up the ocean have truly supported to keep our shorelines clear, so the real question is, what can Antelope Valley High School do to help out this cause and speed up the change? Well, you’re just in luck! All projects start with a place that everyone can call even ground, i.e, our very own school! Recently, it’s been put into place that our school is in desperate need of a cleaning, but where we are now, we need to stop dumping on the floor before we can start to try cleaning up a further! Even if it’s just a small bit of trash that happened to land where you are, it would help out the most to pick it up and throw it in a trash barrel. Not only that, but there are many volunteer services for local cleanups that benefits both your student career and the environment. Not only would you be helping your environment, but you could also be giving your resume a positive touch!

If you believe that doing this much will change nothing, go visit the beach sometime! Many more beaches, such as Venice Beach and San Francisco Beach have been doing much better, and look way better, so don’t give up on our society yet! By the time all of these projects are implemented, 90% of the plastic has been predicted to be gone from our oceans, canals, rivers, and lakes! Just you wait! You may be able to get that last swim of summer in a little bit sooner! Also, remember that we all share this world, and we only get one chance to help our big beautiful planet restore its beauty and health benefits. Wouldn’t you like to breathe in cleaner air than what we have now? I know I would!

 

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