TeamSeas Will Be Transformational for Our Ocean–Let’s Go!

Today YouTubers MrBeast, Mark Rober and thousands of other creators are joining together to launch TeamSeas, a crowd-funded campaign with the goal of raising $30 million dollars by January 1 to remove 30 million pounds of trash from rivers, beaches and our ocean. Ocean Conservancy has been chosen as the beaches and ocean partner for the campaign–a testament to our 36-year history of mobilizing the International Coastal Cleanup(R) and, more recently, removing lost and discarded fishing gear from waters around the world through our Global Ghost Gear Initiative(R) work.

I am so excited for this campaign and believe it will be transformational for our ocean and the communities and wildlife that depend on it.

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Yes, the problem of ocean plastic pollution is massive. More than 11 million metric tons of plastics flow into our ocean every year (that's more than a garbage truck's worth per minute!), and plastics are ending up everywhere from the deepest ocean trenches to the most remote Arctic ice sheets. And while the problem looks most acute in places with limited or minimal waste collection and recycling systems, the truth is we all have a role to play, no matter where we are in the world. Plastic pollution on shorelines often originates upstream, even from other countries (including the United States) that export their unwanted plastic waste abroad. That's why it's critical that we cut back on single-use plastics and improve waste collection and recycling systems everywhere.

But make no mistake, we need cleanups, too. In fact, scientific research shows that low-cost, effective cleanups will be critical to meeting plastic pollution reduction goals.

People cleaning trash off Playa Gringo beach – September 2021 (C) Rafeed Hussain

And as someone who spends every possible moment in the water and has been to more beach cleanups than you can count over the course of my conservation career, I've seen firsthand the unparalleled power of coming together with friends, colleagues and members of our communities to leave our local beaches cleaner than we found them. There's something about it–rolling up your sleeves, breaking a sweat, and making and seeing a positive impact in a place you love–that truly is transformational.

That's why we're thrilled to be organizing cleanups around the world as the official TeamSeas beaches and ocean partner over the next three years. We'll be targeting areas where the conservation need is the greatest, like UNESCO World Heritage Sites, Marine Reserves and places like the Caribbean, where we worked alongside our incredible partners Fundacion Vida Azul in the Dominican Republic (DR) and MrBeast a few weeks ago to remove more than 63,000 pounds of trash from two beaches in just 24 hours. The beach was more pristine than it has ever been–so much so that a local volunteer who regularly conducts cleanups was moved to tears, which I'll never forget. Again … transformational.

As we did in the DR, all the plastics and other trash removed will be carefully weighed prior to being properly disposed of and, where possible, recycled. Whether using hand-scales to go bag-by-bag; using our mobile data app, Clean Swell(R), to calculate the weight of collected items; or using professional scales to weigh dumpsters and garbage trucks at the final waste processing facility–every item of trash counts towards our TeamSeas goal of 30 million pounds.

That's why we hope that everyone who pledges to TeamSeas joins us to take the next step to truly solve the ocean plastics crisis–join a cleanup, sign up for our emails and advocacy alerts to stay in touch and help us encourage the passage of meaningful policies that eliminate single-use plastics, strengthen our recycling systems and make a difference for the ocean.

Every pound, every dollar and every action matter.

So please join us–and I'll see you on the beach soon!

The post TeamSeas Will Be Transformational for Our Ocean–Let's Go! appeared first on Ocean Conservancy.

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