Area of Impact
Stem the flow of pollution to the ocean
By supporting technological innovation, policy change, and raising public awareness.
In tandem with the wedges to protect more of our waters and rethink how we source food from them, we must stem the flow of pollution, as well. The water and its creatures weather through a myriad of pollutants, in the form of debris, agricultural and vehicle runoff, septic tanks, and sometimes even oil or chemical spills. All of these contribute to billions of pounds of waste reaching the ocean each year.
On top of the runoff pollution that enters the waterways, more obviously, plastic and trash end up adrift in the ocean, wreaking havoc on marine creatures, as well as neighboring coastal communities. Animals mistake trash for food or get tangled in discarded debris like nets. Microplastics consumed by fish may even contaminate the food supply. Coastal communities often bear the brunt of this pollution. Currents flood their shores with trash, impacting tourism, but even their everyday life. Observed in the island community of Guna Yala, Panama, locals do their best to collect, separate, and bag the mountains of garbage that wash up on their shores. However, with no way to dispose of it efficiently, the neighboring city’s garbage further encroaches on their home.
Stemming the flow of pollution poses a great challenge, but also invites exciting opportunities for innovation and collaboration. United and striving toward a healthier ocean, we anticipate the return of life to a healthier, waste-free sea.