Oregon-based environmental nonprofit Ocean Blue Project aims to recover 1 million pounds of plastic and other ocean debris along U.S. coastlines and waterways by 2025 through the deployment of new ocean cleanup machines as well as volunteer cleanup initiatives made possible by local communities nationwide. Every 1 U.S. Dollar donated funds the recovery of 1 pound of plastic from our oceans and rivers. Climate change and warming waters means the ocean inhabitants need us now more than ever.
Every 60 seconds, the equivalent of one full garbage truck's worth of plastic is discarded into our oceans. Once in the ocean, plastics harm marine animals that ingest it mistakenly thinking it's food or become entangled in it. While plastics never biodegrade, they eventually break down into smaller and smaller pieces called microplastics that find their way into the stomachs of organisms at all levels of the food chain-including our own.
In what is truly a David vs. Goliath-type challenge, Ocean Blue Project aims to mobilize volunteers and engage donors worldwide in our fight against the flow of plastic into our oceans and waterways. Reaching our goal of 1 million pounds of plastic removed by 2025 will demonstrate how efforts at a grassroots level can significantly impact our fight for plastic-free oceans and inspire communities around the world to follow suit.
In addition to removing plastic litter from our waterways before it breaks down into microplastics, Ocean Blue Project has partnered with university researchers to collect data on the impacts of ocean-borne microplastics in the food chain with the aim of spurring systematic change to reduce the long-term flow of plastics into our marine ecosystem. Furthermore, the technology being developed for ocean plastic cleanup will be applicable to subsequent plastic removal efforts on a global scale.