Another day, another clean up for the
“A lot of the trash gets stuck in the dunes because of the plant life,” said Gavin Baker, a member who is also an environmental studies student.
He says right now, they’re busier than usual thanks to the storm.
“It brings in a lot of debris, and we get a spike in larger debris,” he said.
The ocean’s energy has churned up trash from across the entire Caribbean and even our own shores, dumping it in areas like Palm Beach island. On Tuesday, the group found a 55 gallon engine oil barrel.
It was empty, but extremely heavy.
They don’t know exactly where the oil drum or any of the trash came from but the group is finding lots of plastic bottles, shoes, lumber and even hazardous chemicals.
“I just feel like people need to open their eyes to see that there’s a bigger picture,” said Baker.
He explained that with Gulf Stream just a few miles offshore of South Florida, any debris from the Bahamas has mostly moved north to follow with the ocean currents. The currents in the Atlantic can bring in trash to us from as far east as West Africa but most trash is coming from islands to our south.
“A lot of the trash is coming from the islands in the Caribbean, like Haiti, Jamaica, Dominican Republic,” said Baker.
We can also see trash from Miami, Ft. Lauderdale and other cities on some days.
Hamilton hopes this influx of trash motivates more people to join local clean ups. Surfrider teamed up with Journey Church after the storm and found endless amounts of plastic, wood and other large objects.
“You really don’t think about the immense amount of plastics sitting out in the ocean already. And then a storm like Dorian comes by and pushes it onshore and you can’t ignore it. Now it’s right in front of you,” she said. “It’s a much larger battle that Surfrider is facing.”
“We’re expecting a lot of more trash,” said Baker.
If you would like to get involved, the
International Coastal Cleanup
is coming up on September 21.
To get involved,
click here for details
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