The average United States resident creates over 4 pounds of trash per day and up to 56 tons of trash per year. That means Americans makeup roughly 5% of the world’s population but generate nearly 40% of the world’s total waste.
When it comes to our beaches trash is not only unsightly it harms the local plants, animals, humans, and economy.
Trash can cause point and non-point source pollution which harms plants in the area and could have led to a decline in the population.
Ocean Conservancy states, “From plankton to whales, animals across ocean ecosystems have been contaminated by plastic. Plastic has been found in 59% of sea birds like albatross and pelicans, in 100% of sea turtle species, and more than 25% of fish sampled from seafood markets around the world.”
Plastics break down into small microplastics that fish can unknowingly eat, and then humans eat the fish that is contaminated with microplastics harming the digestive track over time.
Some local economies rely on their local beaches to bring in a steady income of money to their local economy. Now if the beach is heavily polluted with trash and it is not resolved tourists will most likely go elsewhere and the local economy will plummet.
Humans are the sole reason why trash is polluting our beaches. But humans are also the solution! MUCC’s On the Water (OTW) program sponsored and funded by a Planet Award through the Consumer’s Energy Foundation is partnering with the Lake Lansing South Unit of Ingham County Parks to help clean up the south beach after Labor Day Festivities.
Everyone loves to spend a day on the water come Labor Day weekend, but what about all of the trash that is left behind that doesn’t quite make it in the trash can? That’s where our local volunteers that means you) come in to play! Come out and pick up some trash before the big MSU game to help your favorite beach spot look as pristine as ever.
OTW is an amazing way to get outdoors and make a difference in local watersheds in the state of Michigan. If you would like to attend any of these events, please register online prior to the event and you will receive a free reusable water bottle and lunch! All are welcome to join us for a great day of volunteering before the snow begins to fall.
We are looking to make connections in your community please contact Emma Nehan at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to coordinate a volunteer event soon! For more information and to register, please visit mucc.org/on-the-water