July 4 marine debris cleanup

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What comes to your mind when you think about celebrating July 4th? You can think of barbecuing outside, going to the beach, or setting off fireworks. While many people watch these fireworks in awe, have you ever thought about what they are made of and why so many of them are left in our parks and beaches after the holidays?

Most fireworks contain plastic, wood, cardboard, and lots of packaging, which usually turns into marine debris when not thrown away. They can easily travel through rivers or sounds in the Atlantic.

This is one of the many reasons that NOAA launched its marine debris program. They hope one day to free the global ocean and its coasts from waste. Marine debris is a man-made problem and therefore has human solutions.

This vacation, you could help! On July 5th, grab a broom and dustpan and sweep up any fireworks debris that might be littered outside your home. Throwing it away at your house prevents it from entering the ocean and harming marine life. If you want to do even more, head to the beach with your family and friends and do a group cleaning.

If you are planning to set off fireworks, please be aware of the surroundings so that we can continue to enjoy its beauty for generations to come.


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