Sea turtles are concerned about marine litter, too!
Land litter will find its way to the ocean to become marine litter and it's an obstruction to the marine ecosystem and its inhabitants both figuratively and literally.
So we've had a few oil spills, poured millions of gallons of toxic waste into our oceans, tossed in a few trillion cigarette butts and every kind of plastic imaginable – not to mention fishing nets, fishing lines, and abandoned crab pots – plus some toxic metals... but no worries, right? No consequences, right? Marine life isn't threatened, right? Eighty-four percent of turtles, 44% of marine birds, and 43% of marine animals have plastic in their stomachs.
Marine animals see floating objects in the water and mistake them for food: plastic bags and balloons look like jellyfish; straws and toothbrushes look like sea worms to sea turtles. Other marine animals see bottle caps as eggs or a food source... get the picture? Anything floating in the water is potential food.
Only you can change where your trash ends up – it's UP2U:
- Avoid single-use plastic
- Respond to the need to recycle more
- Reevaluate how you dispose of your personal trash
- Learn more about the impacts of marine litter
Partnerships and Volunteers can help too!
- On May 10, 2016 hundreds of onlookers gathered on the beach to watch as South Carolina Aquarium staff and volunteers along with SCDNR staff helped return five loggerhead sea turtles to their natural habitat.
- For more information, vist the SC Marine Turtle Conservation Program