MARINE DEBRIS PREVENTION PROGRAM
According to to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), marine debris is any man made object discarded, disposed of or abandoned that enters the coastal or marine environment. It may enter directly from a boat, or indirectly when washed out to sea via rivers, streams and storm drains. In the Golden Isles, storm drains routinely deposit land litter into adjacent water bodies and estuarine areas with just a bit of rain or wind. Sources of land-based debris include: inappropriately disposed trash from picnics, beach going and fishing; debris from lawns, parking lots, and streets; unsecured loads; inadvertent or intentional release of waste from solid waste facilities; and sewage overflows. It is estimated that 80% of marine debris is from land-based sources. Keep Golden Isles Beautiful engages in multiple programs, partnerships and outreach activities to combat marine debris.
SKIP the straw Trash free seas program
storm drain awareness
Citizens Litter PAtrol
Cigarette Litter prevention
What goes up, must come down, and released helium balloons “come down” as either land litter or marine debris, potentially harming wildlife, marine life and ecosystems.
Keep Golden Isles Beautiful joined forces with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Marine Debris Program to tackle the issue of helium balloon release debris. Many sustainable substitutions exist to helium balloon releases and Keep Golden Isles Beautiful and coastal partners promote awareness of these solutions.
Help us spread the word about helium balloon release options. Remember, what goes up, must come down, and helium balloons always come down as litter.
Download the colorful Helium Balloon Release Awareness message, HERE, today!
what goes up must come down
SKIP the straw Trash free seas program
Millions of plastic straws pollute our waterways and ocean, harming marine animals, such as endangered sea turtles, that ingest an alarming amount of plastics. Each year, cleanup volunteers collect hundreds of thousands of plastic straws and stirrers, which continue to make the top ten list of most collected items worldwide.
It’s easy to Make a Difference – join with Keep Golden Isles Beautiful, the University of Georgia Marine Extension and Georgia Sea Grant, GreenScene of Coastal Georgia and the Ocean Conservancy in the Skip the Straw trash free seas program.
Help us stop ocean trash at the source. It’s THIS SIMPLE: When eating out, ask your server to “skip the plastic straw.”
Skip the plastic straw to prevent more straws from potentially reaching the ocean.
Rethink how viewing plastics and reducing consumption of single-use disposable plastics are important parts of the trash free seas solution.
Do your part: The next time you eat out, order your drink without a plastic straw – yes, it’s THAT SIMPLE. Many restaurants now serve drinks with plastic straws already inserted, whether asked for not not. Asking restaurant management to provide drinking straws only upon request and/or to use paper straws instead of plastic are two additional ways to Make a Difference.
In coastal Georgia, land litter quickly becomes marine debris, putting sensitive marine and estuarine ecosystems at risk. Reducing single-use plastic usage directly reduces the amount of plastics entering these environments.
For details & additional Skip the Straw resources:
For Skip the Straws educational flyers, click HERE.
Storm drains are designed to manage excess roadway water due to heavy rains. Everything that is swept or poured into a storm drain inlet will eventually end up in our local water supply. The Golden Isles has over 250 storm drain outlets that empty directly into streams, rivers, salt marshes and the ocean.
Water that enters a storm drain goes directly into our creeks, streams and ocean with no treatment. Storms drains are different than sewers; they are not connected to a treatment plant. The affects of disposing of hazardous waste in a storm drain can be extremely harmful.
WE ALL LIVE DOWNSTREAM; THE RIVER BEGINS AT YOUR DOOR.
Even if you live miles away from a river or stream, you may be polluting the water without even knowing it. Anything that enters a storm water system is discharged untreated into the water bodies we use for swimming, fishing and drinking water. Practice healthy household habits and keep common pollutants like pesticides, pet waste, grass clippings and automotive fluids off the ground and out of storm water. Adopt these healthy household habits and help protect lakes, streams, rivers, wetlands and coastal waters.
Keep Golden Isles Beautiful provides educational materials and messaging regarding storm drain usage, encouraging the proper use of storm drains and discouraging the depositing of any materials or liquids into the drains themselves. CLICK HERE for photos and messaging.