Three ways to help keep our coasts clean
How much trash does your family generate? How much of that trash is single-use plastic, like water bottles and food packaging?
You might be surprised to know that much of that plastic ends up littering our waterways, beaches and oceans. In fact, the No. 1 item polluting these areas is plastic.
In 2016 alone, volunteers collected more than 14 tons of trash on more than 200 miles of Mississippi’s coastlines, barrier islands and other waterways. The most common items found were straws, plastic bottles, food wrappers, and cigarette butts (28,000 of them).
But you can help keep our environment clean and protect our marine life. Commit to reducing or eliminating single-use plastic in your household and get involved in local cleanup efforts that help keep trash out of our waterways.
Here are some activities and events that can help make a difference in Mississippi:
- Sign up for the annual Mississippi Coastal Cleanup, an effort led by the Extension Service in partnership with the Mississippi Marine Debris Task Force.
- Pick up two pieces of trash anywhere in Mississippi, take a photo, and post it to Facebook or Instagram tagged with #Take2Miss as part of the campaign with the same name.
- Take our survey to help identify consumer habits and willingness to buy environmentally-friendly products, such as cups, plates, and straws, in restaurants.
Here’s a summary of the types of trash found in the 2016 Mississippi Coastal Cleanup.
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Tyler Wilson, right, shadowed Dr. Steven Brandon during the 2016 Rural Medical and Science Scholars program. Participants in the program also receive college credit for two pre-med courses, visit various medical facilities, participate in lab-based hands-on learning activities and take part in a communications and study skills workshop. (Photo by Kevin Hudson)