Last year, the United Nations designated June 8 World Ocean’s Day, creating an annual opportunity to raise global awareness of the challenges facing our oceans today and to instill a sense of duty in all of us to care for the world’s water. Appropriately, the theme of World Ocean’s Day this year is “our oceans, our responsibility,” calling on residents living in the Midwest, Southwest, Great Lakes region or anywhere around the world.
Shedd Aquarium’s Great Lakes conservation team generally finds more than 650 pounds of garbage and recycling plus an additional 2,100 cigarette butts in a summer season on the beaches of Lake Michigan. According to the Ocean Conservancy, volunteers around the world collected 11,077 diapers in the Philippines, more than 19,504 fishing nets in the United Kingdom and more than 1.4 million cigarette butts in the United States during the 2008 International Coastal Clean Up. Near and far these statistics tell us it is time to take action for a cleaner tomorrow.
Whether you live near Lake Michigan or a prairie in Kansas, please properly dispose of wrappers, cigarette butts, bottles and any debris that can blow into our waterways. Your small actions have large consequences; make them positive.
Posted by Cheryl Mell, Conservation