Read the full post on the Marine Debris Blog.
Marine debris, the perennial, insidious, problem that affects oceans and coasts worldwide, has been impacting US beaches for many years. After the massive tsunami struck the north eastern coast of Japan on March 11, 2011, inflicting tragic loss of human life and massive damage, a variety of items washed out to sea as the water receded. Some debris remained floating, drifting long distances by ocean currents and winds. This influx of marine debris, adding to an already existing problem, has attracted media attention as well as volunteers, who selflessly dedicate their time and energy to clean the beaches they love, picking up and recycling or disposing of plastic bottles and Styrofoam, fishing lines and floats, packaging of all sort, and other type of debris. Their work is both welcome and appreciated. It is thanks to the thousands of volunteers that marine debris along the US coastline is removed.
But, how can you tell what debris is safe to cleanup? Among the thousands of debris items that wash ashore everyday some can be hazardous.