During our April kayak cleanup, we were encouraged to see much less debris than on our prior kayak cleanups.
I found some items that I brought home and cleaned in order to reuse. This is a plastic serving tray from a local restaurant - encrusted with marine organisms. One day, when I have a place of my own, I won't need to purchase any kitchenware. Reusing marine debris is a great way to prevent it from reentering the environment.
We stopped at Ken Thompson Park and removed some single use plastic items that were along the nature path. The park has a large amount of litter - some items appear to be washed up, but a lot of items are just disguarded on the ground by park visitors. I am currently working on ideas of way we can educate visitors on the problem of marine debris.
Plastic bags and single use, plastic water bottles are commonly found. These items take energy to produce and are generally only used for a very short period of time. Currently, most plastic bags are not being recycled due to the price of oil being so low. If there isn't a profitable market for recycling, things will not be recycled. Additionally, many recycled plastics are being shipped off to other countries such as China for recycling there. If you have ever smelled burning plastic, you can imagine the pollution caused by plastic recycling. Just another reminder to refuse single use plastic. Bring your own, reusable bag to the store and use a reusable water bottle. Currently, our state government is considering allowing individual counties to make their own laws about plastic bags (HB661 and SB966). This is very important because marine life often mistake plastic bags for jelly fish and other food. A quick google search for 'plastic bags and sea turtles' will turn up many images.
One of my favorite parts of our cleanups are coming across marine organisms. This is why we do what we do - to help provide a safe and clean environment for the abundant species that live in and along our waterways, like this cute spider crab.