Since 1975, The Marine Mammal Center has rescued hundreds of patients suffering from human-caused problems and injuries – including those trapped in ocean trash. We can treat their injuries but we can’t treat the cause of their problems without your help!
Luckily this fur seal, named Inuyasha, was saved by The Marine Mammal Center. But what about next time?
Each year, trash in the ocean kills more than one million seabirds and 100,000 marine mammals and turtles when they ingest or become entangled in it (source: Ocean Conservancy). You can learn more about ocean trash and ways you can reduce your ocean footprint!
Take the Ocean Trash Trivia Challenge!
Win FREE marine mammal ring tones!
How well do you know your ocean trash? Take our trivia challenge and learn some interesting facts about the origin of ocean trash and the effects plastics have on the enviornment and all that rely on it.
Take action! Pledge to Stop Trashing Our Oceans today.
When you throw something "away", where is away? Everything we manufacture has to go somewhere when we are finished with it. That somewhere is in the land or out at sea. Although the problem of ocean trash can seem overwhelming, there are some simple things you can do every day to minimize your impact on the ocean. If you think it isn’t worth the time and energy, remember the animals who make the ocean their home. Afterall, everything we do, not only affects them, it filters down to us - we eat the same food and we swim in the same water - and the ocean is the planet's biggest life source.
- Cut apart those six-pack plastic soda can rings. If left uncut in the trash, they can make their way to the ocean and trap an unsuspecting, innocent animal.
- Reduce the toxins you use in your yard, as those affect the waterways via run-off.
- Bring your own reusable shopping bags whenever you shop.
- Be sure to properly dispose of fishing lines and lures, as animals can mistake them for food if they end up in the water.
- Try not to use helium balloons as both the balloons and their accompanying strings often end up in the water. Choose another way to decorate a party instead.
- Select re-usable items whenever possible and repurpose old items.
- Buy in bulk and bring your own container to the store for flour, rice, beans and other dry goods.
- Try buying milk and yogurt in glass and ceramic containers that can be returned to the grocery store.
- Recycle everything. More and more items can be recycled if you take advantage of proper recycling stations and centers.
- Bring your own re-usable cup to the café when you buy that morning latte.
- Carry a re-usable water bottle to work and school.
- Choose a product that has less packaging over those that are individually wrapped. Better yet, can you buy it in bulk?
Whatever you do, remember the 4 R's - REDUCE, REFUSE, RECYCLE & REUSE.
Watch rescue video of Blonde Bomber - a sea lion we rescued after he was discovered with a plastic packing strap "noose" around his neck.
You can learn more about ocean trash and ways to prevent it by clicking on any of these resources:
Ocean Conservancy - Trash Free Alliance
NOAA Marine Debris Program
Plastics Are Forever
EPA - Marine Debris
What are you doing to help cure our ailing planet? Got an idea about ways to help reduce ocean trash? Got any tips? Stories to tell? Videos to share? Take a video and upload it to YouTube - give us a great idea or share your favorite story and we'll add it to our own YouTube channel!
How to share your video with The Marine Mammal Center:
It’s easy – follow these simple steps:
- Go to our YouTube channel.
- Click on Upload at the very top of the screen.
- Sign into your own YouTube account.
- Upload your video. Please make sure to tell us your name and what city and state you are from in the video!
- Then be sure to email the direct URL link to your video to us at email@example.com. We'll then post it on our YouTube channel to spread the word!