This blog shares the research experiences and findings conducted at University of North Carolina Wilmington (UNCW faculty and students) in conjunction with Plastic Ocean Project. Earlier posts share open-ocean sampling and adventures in the North and South Atlantic, the South Pacific and the North Pacific Great Pacific Garbage Patch. Outreach and education is the primary purposes to bring global awareness to an issue that has reached a crisis level in the marine environment.
Capitol Hill, Ocean Friendly Establishments, and Beach Cleanups.
Plastic Ocean Project goes to Capitol Hill!!
On Wednesday, November 4th, Bonnie Monteleone, Executive Director of Plastic Ocean Project, visited Capitol Hill to speak in opposition to offshore drilling off our coast. She spoke about the importance of the Hatteras region where the majority of the sea turtle species, of which are endangered or critically endangered, frequently visit due to the Sargassum mats which form off our coast.
She also talked about the fact that sargassum floats, and so does oil. Sargassum, comes from the Sargasso Sea , and is an essential fish habitat important to many species because of its ability to provide shelter and foraging for hundreds of marine species, including baby sea turtles. There are at least 81 species that rely on Sargassum as their only known habitat. Sargassum is protected by law, and for that reason alone offshore drilling should not happen off the North Carolina coast.
Please consider contacting the governor's office to express your opposition to offshore drilling off the North Carolina Coast. Or, sign this petition.
After the screening of Mission Blue at UNCW , the UNCW POP volunteers were super excited and decided to start a Hope Spot in Cape Hatteras. The student volunteers put a petition together to present to Sylvia Earle, of Mission Blue.
UNCW POP is the most active student club at UNCW!! Congrats to all of you for making such a big difference in our community and our oceans!!
Ginger Taylor, Tricia Monteleone and Bonnie Monteleone created this "trash turtle" using trash collected by Ginger Taylor during her Monday morning walks looking for turtle tracks. This sculpture serves to educate visitors touring the turtle hospital on the issues and problems with plastics in our oceans. Bonnie and Ginger also put together an information board with facts about plastics. This sculpture and information board is part of the tour at the Karen Beasley Sea Turtle Hospital, and provides information to all of the visitors about the issues with plastic and marine debris litter.
LEA ISLAND/ HUTAFF
Lea Island is in desperate need of a cleanup! After a recent storm, a house was washed away and the debris and litter that was left behind is unbelievable. Audubon and other volunteers are heading to the island this weekend to do a major cleanup. The photos below are some taken from a recent trip to the island. This island is home to many seabirds and other wildlife. We will do all we can to protect the island and keep it clean. Organizing a cleanup in your area is an awesome way to make a difference, bring people together, and educate on the issues with debris and plastics in our oceans. Please send any photos and information from your cleanups to email@example.com and we will post it on our blog. Thanks for all you do to help keep the oceans clean!
"Individually, we are one drop, together, we are an ocean".
Ocean Friendly Establishments
UNCW POP members and other volunteers have been busy contacting area restaurants to sign up for the "Ocean Friendly Establishment" initiative. The only thing a restaurant has to do is make the pledge to only give straws upon request to their patrons. It's such an easy way to make a big difference! Thanks to all who have signed on so far. Anyone interested in joining this initiative and new trend, please contact Kim Beller for more information. firstname.lastname@example.org
We are proud to announce the latest restaurants to come on board! More to come!!!