How you can help clean up the ocean during World Oceans Day

PINE KNOLL SHORES, N.C. (WNCT) —Thursday is World Oceans Day, and environmentalists are reminding you to take care of your natural home.

This year’s theme is “Our Oceans, Our Future” and focuses on the ways you can help preserve the environment for future generations by encouraging solutions to plastic pollution and preventing marine litter.

Environmentalists say that often begins with picking up trash you find before it gets in the water.

An app developed to track the location of pollutants was created by researchers. It’s called the Marine Debris Tracker.

“Even if you live nowhere near an ocean, you are affected,” Lisa Rider, assistant solid waste director for Onslow Co., said. “Your livelihood will be affected. Your children and your grandchildren will be affected by the problems that are happening in our oceans.”

To use the app, choose from a variety of different trash options, press log, and once you’re done submit. The location of your items will show up on a map and you can even share it to social media.

Pine Knoll Shores Aquarium held a special event for kids to learn about how their actions affect marine life. For example, by reducing the amount of plastic they consume.

“Every day when we go to the grocery store, we can bring a reusable bag or water bottle and all of these efforts will have huge impacts on Mother Earth and of course all of our beautiful marine life out there,” Susan Matthews, public programs coordinator, said.

Kids made pledges to stop using plastic straws and bags at the event.

According to a study by the World Economic Forum and the Ellen Macarthur Foundation— if we keep going like we are, plastic will outweigh fish in the oceans by the year 2050.

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