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Water pollution is a problem that affectsall living organism. Every living thing on the earth needs water to survive. Whenthe water is polluted, it not only affects the plants and animals, but it harmspeople. That created the Broward County Waterway Cleanup. The oceansare a very important part of our environment. About 50-80 percent of all lifeon earth is estimated to live in the oceans.

 The world’s biggestlandfill isn’t on land at all it is in the oceans. The largest problem is most of the trash that has accumulated in the ocean is plastic. It hasbeen estimated that 90% of all the trash is plastic. The issue with plastic isthat it is not biodegradable, which means it doesn’t break down, so it stays inthe oceans forever. It is unbelievable that 80% of the trash is comingfrom land. One of the main causes of the pollutedmarines is the wastes and toxins that get thrown into the ocean. Records showthat 850 million meters cubed of liquid and solid wastes have been dumped intothe ocean in the past 85 years.

 Not only does our populationtoss these solid wastes into the water, but the ocean also deals with thedebris from natural disasters like floods, earthquakes, volcanoes, and fires.Since the late 1960s, impacts by humanity on the environment, particularly thedegradation of air, water, and soil, have received widespread public attentionand levels of funding to perform scientific studies. Many yearsago people would never have thought that the ocean would ever need saving.People would wonder how something so big could ever be affected by their ownactions. There are many ways to begin to clean up the oceans. Now let’s talkabout Broward and waterway clean up. The first Waterway Cleanup was heldin the late 1970s to help ensure that both the community as a whole and themarine industry could enjoy our local waterways.

In 2017, 1,629 people and over100 boat owners volunteered their time to help clean the beaches in BrowardCounty as part of the 32nd Annual International Coastal to remove over 40 tonsof trash and debris from our waterways, rivers and canals. Broward CountyEnvironmental Protection and Growth Management Department staff worked withlocal municipalities and collected 8,057 pounds of trash from 13 cleanup sitelocations. Items collected ranged from baby toys to biohazardous waste. Anestimated 75,750 pieces of trash were picked up with the number one trash itembeing small plastic pieces, over 14,000 pieces collected. This startedin 2009 and helped pick up 52 pounds of waste just lying on the beaches. Volunteercoordinator Nancy Craig said the discarded cigarette butts highlight animportant point that one item may seem insignificant, but if that attitudetakes hold, it can lead to a significant problem.

“Today our biggest item wascigarette butts; we have pounds of them,” Craig said. “You don’tthink of cigarette butts as a big deal, but when you have pounds of them, that’sa lot.” Marine life can easily be entangled in fishing line, nets, andsix-pack rings. Fish, birds and turtles mistake trash like Styrofoam, plastics,and cigarette butts for food, which may eventually lead to starvation.

Marinedebris weakens coastal economies by sapping dollars from the tourism andseafood industries. Anyway, Broward’s Cleanup is also part of the OceanConservancy’s International Coastal Cleanup, the world’s largest annualclearing of trash from coastlines and lakes by volunteers. Hundreds ofthousands of people all over the world help each year to rid the environment ofmarine debris and collect detailed information on the types and quantities ofrefuse. The types and quantities of trash collected are recorded on data cardsand forwarded to the Center for Marine Conservation, which compiles theinformation for all of the cleanups held in the country and around the world.

This information helps identify the source of the debris and focus efforts oneliminating or reducing it. A recent marine debris report released by the OceanConservancy found that general-source marine debris – trash that comes fromboth ocean- and land-based activities – increased across the United States bymore than five percent each year. In conclusion, each year the Broward CountyWaterway Cleanup attracts thousands of volunteers from many neighborhoods andcommunities throughout the county. People of all ages come out in their boatsand along the shores to clean all kinds of debris from the waterways.  Everyone on the planet has polluted theoceans one way or another. Factories that are in various industries make anenormous contribution to ocean pollution.

These factories use unbelievableamounts of water to make their products. The Natural Resource Defense Councilsays, “More than four out of every ten gallons of water used in the US areused for industrial purposes.” A large amount of this water is dumped backinto the oceans. This water is usually not clean, and may contain thousands ofdifferent chemicals.

So Come and help at the Broward Waterway Cleanup !  

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