In my opinion, I feel like the greatest danger that our world faces to this date is the amount of trash that is in our oceans. It is disgusting to even think that there is the Great Pacific Garbage Patch right in between Hawaii and California. This patch is over 600,000 square miles long. It’s bigger than twice the size of Texas and three times the size of France. There needs to be a better effort in the process of cleaning all of the trash in the ocean. And not just in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, but all over the world. If we can’t even do that for ourselves, then we should do it for the animals in the water. Over 100,000 marine animals die every year due to floating trash in the ocean. There are so many marine animals that are affected, sea turtles, fish, and dolphins just to name a few, but sea turtles and seabirds mistake the plastic and trash that’s in the ocean as food, so they end up eating it and it all gets stuck in their digestive system. The fish get tiny debris particles of trash stuck in their gills. Other sea creatures all get caught in trash or old fishing nets. After these creatures eat the plastic and trash, what do you think happens, the fish get caught and we end up eating these polluted animals. So the biggest thing that we as people can do is simply just clean up after ourselves, recycle, or even go plastic-free. Trash belongs in trash cans, it is so simple to just take your trash and bring it to the nearest trash can instead of leaving it or throwing it on the ground. At home, it is very easy to recycle, just create a separate bin for your recyclables, so you can acknowledge which is a trash bin and which is a recycling bin. Going plastic-free could be a little tougher. But in some neighborhoods, the local grocery store has stopped giving away the plastic bags for free and charges a fee for every bag you use. They are trying to get everyone who goes to their store to use reusable bags instead of plastic ones. Sure all of these things can be done, but will there really be an effect on the environment? Not unless everyone is willing to help out. There are many nonprofits that are working on cleaning the oceans, people can join them or they can start their own programs. Educating the public on the effect that ocean pollution has on us is another solution to solve these problems. If more people understand what we are doing to our environment, maybe they will want to have a safer and cleaner ocean, maybe once they understand what is happening they would be more willing to try to help solve the problems that are going on in our oceans.

Essay by: Dakota Palumbo
Absegami High School

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