Since 2016, Loggerhead Marinelife Center and partner organizations have removed over 20,000 bottle caps from Florida beaches.
Can you spot some of the other strange items found during our beach cleanups?
– 2 toy dinosaurs
– An Apple Watch
– A pig
– A die
– A toy plane
– An orange cat
– A clownfish
– A hammerhead shark
– A road reflector
– A fish trap tag
Here are 4 simple ways you can help LMC keep the beaches clean and our marine life healthy this summer!
1. Eliminate single-use plastics– skip that straw, but don’t forget your reusable water bottle and bag
Try to make your beach day plastic free by bringing only reusable water bottle/drink containers and utensils. Additionally, please remember to go #strawfreewithLMC and say NO to plastic straws- a disposable plastic item that is used for 10 minutes but lasts forever.
2. Apply only reef-safe sunscreen
This summer, avoid using sunscreens containing the ingredients oxybenzone and octinoxate, both of which cause bleaching in our coral reefs.
2. Build them up, but always remember to knock them down (and fill them in)
Sandcastles and holes dug in the sand can be potentially fatal to nesting sea turtles and hatchlings. So please knock down sand castles and fill in any holes you make during your beach day.
4. Pick up 3 (or 30) pieces of trash
When leaving the beach, be sure to grab not only EVERYTHING you brought with you (including trash, beach chairs, children, buckets, etc.) but take three extra pieces of trash with you when you go. There are an estimated 5.25 trillion pieces of plastic in the ocean today, but you can help prevent that number from growing even larger by doing your part and helping to clean the beach!
Thank you for helping Loggerhead Marinelife Center keep our beaches, oceans, and marine life safe this summer season!
In honor of World Ocean’s Day, Loggerhead Marinelife Center teamed up with Jupiter Dive Center, a local dive shop in Jupiter, Florida to host the first Juno Beach Pier Underwater Cleanup in 2018.
In one 50 minute dive, 8 divers were able to remove over 88.2 MILES of fishing line from under the pier.
Each mile of fishing line recovered reduces the chance of entangling marine life, likely resulting in flipper amputation, strangulation, or death.
Special thanks to Jupiter Dive Center for donating their boat, time, and staff to this cleanup!!!
As the sun finally begins to poke out from behind the clouds, it is important to protect our skin using sunscreen.
BUT- did you know that while popular sunscreens may protect us, they are also harming our beautiful coral reefs?
Chemical sunscreens on the market contain chemicals known as benzophenones (BPs) and oxybenzone. These chemicals, specifically oxybenzone, have been known to damage the DNA of the coral resulting in the “bleaching” and death of coral reefs.
We see the most damage to our coral reefs in areas of high tourism. While there are many contributing factors to the depletion of our coral reefs, the immense amount of sunscreen that reaches our oceans play a major role. Every year it is estimated that 4,000 – 6,000 tons of sunscreen enter our oceans worldwide. Over 3,500 brands of sunscreen on the market today contain the chemical oxybenzone.
What Can You Do?
Make sure the sunscreen you are using is Reef Safe. The more natural ingredients- the better! Below is a list of sunscreens to add to your shopping list:
- Thinksport Sunscreen
- Totlogic Natural Sunscreen
- All Good Sport Sunscreen Lotion
- Babo Botanicals Zinc Lotion
- Suntegrity Natural Mineral Sunscreen
- Badger Sunscreen Cream
- Raw Elements Certified Natural Sunscreen
- Loving Naturals Clear Body
- Mama Kuleana Reef-safe Sunscreen
- Loving Naturals Clear Body All-natural Sunscreen.
- Stream2Sea Mineral Sunblock
- Goddess Garden Organics
Take the following quiz to find out just how much YOU know about ocean plastics and what you can do to help!
1. How much plastic trash is estimated to be in our ocean currently?
5.25 trillion pieces
Correct! There are an estimated 5.25 TRILLION pieces of plastic in our ocean today, and this number is estimated to increase by 8.5 million metric tons every single year. That is the equivalent of one entire dump truck of plastic being emptied in the ocean every MINUTE.
65 million pieces
500 thousand pieces
6.7 billion pieces
2. What is the most commonly found litter item found on the world’s beaches?
Correct! Cigarette butts are the most common debris items found on beaches worldwide. Most people believe cigarette butts are biodegradable, but they’re not. Cigarettes are made of a type of plastic (cellulose acetate) that can take years to break down into smaller pieces, but will never completely disappear.
3. Out of the top 10 trash items found on the world’s beaches, how many are made of plastic?
Correct! According to the Ocean Conservancy’s International Coastal Cleanup data, 9 of the 10 top items found are made of plastic.
4. True or False: Sea turtles and other marine life eat plastic, mistaking it for food.
Correct! Almost every sea turtle that comes into Loggerhead Marinelife Center’s sea turtle hospital has plastic in their stomach- even young hatchlings. Ingested plastics can cause marine life to become sick, or even die.
5. Plastic trash in the ocean mainly comes from:
International law prohibits the dumping of plastic trash from ships.
Airplanes dumping trash from the sky
Correct! Most of the plastic found in the ocean comes from land. A large majority of it winds up in the ocean due to poor waste management systems and the dumping of garbage into rivers and streams.
6. True or False: Plastic is biodegradable.
Correct! Conventional plastics derived from oil will never EVER go away. Over time, plastic breaks down into smaller and smaller pieces, the smallest of which has even entered the marine food chain at a planktonic level, eventually working its way up to the fish on our plates. Once plastic is created, it exists forever.
7. True or False: Some birds actually collect plastic trash that may resemble their real food and feed these items to their young.
Correct! Everything from bottle caps to plastic cigarette lighters and plastic toys have been found in the stomachs of baby seabirds.
8. Releasing balloons is ok because:
The balloons go into outer space
Releasing balloons into the air is never ok
Correct! Every balloon released comes back to Earth as litter. When in the ocean, deflated balloons resemble jellies, a common food source for sea turtles and other marine life. Sea turtles mistakenly eat these balloons and become very sick- often leading to death. Balloon ribbons can also entangle marine life.
Once in the sky, balloons are melted by the sun’s heat
Balloons float in the clouds forever
9. True or False: Straws are recyclable.
True AND False
Correct! Straws are composed of #5 plastic, polypropylene, but are rarely accepted in recycling facilities. The US alone throws away 500,000,000 straws every day. Take the pledge to go #StrawFreewithLMC, and skip the straw to save a sea turtle!
11. Since plastic trash floats, it only affects marine life on the ocean’s surface.
Correct! Scientists recently reported a prevalence of plastic trash at depths greater than 3.7 miles (19,536 feet) below the ocean’s surface, 92 percent of which is single-use items like plastic bags. They also observed marine life at these depths entangled in plastic items.
11. How can YOU help reduce the amount of plastic in the ocean? (Select all that apply)
Participate in a beach or waterway cleanup
Correct! Beach cleanups are a great way to remove existing plastics from the marine environment.
Bring your own reusable bag with you whenever shopping and recycle whenever possible
Eliminate single-use plastic such as plastic beverage bottles, straws, plastic coffee cups and lids, and foamed plastic takeout container
Correct! Virtually every piece of plastic ever made still exists on Earth (with the exception of the small amount that has been incinerated). The only way to stop plastics from entering the ocean in mass amounts is to eliminate single-use plastic items from our lives.
Ignore the problem and hope it goes away.
If we all work together, we will be able to reduce the flow of plastics into the ocean and help save sea turtles and other marine life for generations to come!
Summer is right around the corner, and we all know that means- longer days, warmer nights, and LOTS of delicious seafood…. but, did you know that 70% of the ocean’s fish populations are exploited, over-exploited, or have already collapsed entirely?
Eating seafood can be both healthy and delicious, but it can also be harmful to our ocean.
For years the saying, “there are plenty of fish in the sea,” was taken literally, and the ocean was thought of as an inexhaustible resource. However, we are rapidly coming to realize that is not the case. With the demand for seafood higher than ever, fish populations are struggling to keep up with increased fishing rates.
So, what can we do?
The answer is sustainable seafood.
Sustainable seafood is a growing trend in restaurants around the country Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch program defines sustainable seafood as “seafood from sources, whether fished or farmed, that can maintain or increase production without jeopardizing the structure and function of affected ecosystems.” In other words, sustainable seafood comes from sources that have a stable or increasing population, and when taken as food, will not have a negative effect on the population or ecosystem around it. Loggerhead Marinelife Center is a proud Seafood Watch Partner and is dedicated to helping keep plenty of fish in the sea for generations to come.
Ways that YOU can help!
- Buy local – local seafood is almost always the best and most sustainable option!
- Support restaurants striving to provide customers with sustainable seafood options
- Download the Seafood Watch App on your phone and use it to make smart seafood choices
- Know where your seafood is coming from, and always ask the question “is this seafood sustainable?” when purchasing it from restaurants and stores
For even MORE information on sustainable seafood, go to http://www.seafoodwatch.org/
With graduation season in full force and Mother’s Day right around the corner, please don’t forget to hold on tight to those celebratory balloons…. or better yet, don’t buy them at all!
Since 2017, Loggerhead Marinelife Center has removed over 1,700 balloons from local Florida beaches.
When balloons are released into the sky, they often come down and end up in our ocean. Deflated balloons resemble jellies, a common food item for sea turtles and other marine life. When sea turtles mistakenly eat balloons, they get extremely sick- often leading to death. Balloon strings have also been known to entangle marine life, leading to the amputation of flippers or strangulation.
In an effort to prevent balloons from harming marine life, Loggerhead Marinelife Center is partnering with cities and towns across Florida’s coastline to implement a balloon ban. Currently, 18 municipalities across the State of Florida have adopted this ban! For more information, or to implement a ban in your town go to https://www.marinelife.org/conservation/shield/pollution-prevention-balloon/.
So, instead of using balloons to proudly celebrate your graduate or hardworking mom, here are a few suggested alternatives:
- Streamers or banners
- Homemade artwork
Thank you for not buying balloons this Mother’s Day and graduation season!