Plastic debris in the ocean is a problem that affects everyone – especially in a place like Point Roberts which has the Salish Sea on three sides!
Marine debris ranges from tiny particles of plastic to abandoned vessels that can be a hazard to navigation, but whatever the size, it is a growing problem we need to address.
Plastic may have made our lives easier but it takes 400 years or more to brake down. It never bio-degrades completely – instead breaking down into smaller and smaller pieces.
Why does this matter? These smaller plastic pieces are being eaten by birds and other marine animals. Even smaller plastic pieces are eaten by fish and may end up in the human food chain. But the birds and marine life who ingest indigestible plastic often end up starving to death, because their stomachs tell them they are not hungry.
We often hear about sea turtles being at risk because of ocean plastic. Here’s why: turtles mistake plastic bags for jellyfish, an important source of food for turtles.
Another cause of problems in our local oceans ‘ghost traps’ and ‘ghost nets’. These lost of abandoned traps and nets continue to fish even if they are floating around or sitting on the ocean floor.
Why does that matter? On the East Coast, nearly ¾ or a million lobster die in ghost traps every year.
In Point Roberts, we are now hosting two annual beach clean-ups to help tackle marine garbage. Come out to our next event!