From Paradise to Hell with one storm
Hello friends, Sammy here!
I cannot believe what happened to one of my favorite beaches. It went from paradise to hell. Once such a pristine and beautiful beach...; they even named it Seal Beach. But now this...
I remember growing up here. Play with all my friends in the clean ocean water and sunbathing in the sand on this endless seeming beach.
Now, after the winter rains in Southern California in January, the beach looks more like a landfill than a pristine paradise. Plastic bags, Styrofoam, straws, plastic bottles and even a shopping cart were among the piles of debris that littered our peaceful resting place.
Eben Schwartz from the California Coastal Commission says this because Seal Beach lies at the mouth of the San Gabriel river, which drains runoff from more than 50 cities in the Los Angeles river basin. “It is one of the most highly urbanized areas in the United States, and Seal Beach is basically the recipient of the outflow of all of those communities.”
Seal Beach is a perfect showcase of the fact that about 80% of the trash that enters the ocean in California actually starts on land. “We have an effective transportation system for trash: our creeks, rivers and storm water systems, all of which eventually empty out into the ocean through one process or another,” Schwartz said.
Apparently, Southern California cities are now starting to install special inserts into storm drains – basically screens that filter out anything larger than a pea – to filter out trash before it reaches beaches.
"We are constantly loading plastic into the ocean just though the proliferation of single-use plastics in commerce every single day.” says Trent Hodges, who leads the plastic pollution initiative at the Surfrider Foundation.
“It’s always stunning to see a big event that brings plastic and trash down to the beach all at once,” says Trent Hodges, who leads the plastic pollution initiative at the Surfrider Foundation, a not-for-profit organization that seeks to protect beaches and oceans. “But we are constantly loading plastic into the ocean just though the proliferation of single-use plastics in commerce today.”
So what can we really do then to keep places like our beloved Seal Beach beautiful?
“The best solution is to do source reduction: to look at everyday single-use plastic and think about redesigning plastic so we don’t waste a resource.” says Trent Hodges.
Right on Trent! This could be a strategy and a great way to keep plastics out of Our Oceans. Because, as you know, plastic does not really go away. Whatever we put into the ocean may stay there for a long time....
What do you do to help keep plastics out of the Ocean?