This Friday, June 8th, is World Oceans Day. The world’s oceans form Earth’s largest and most diverse habitat and play a crucial role in weather patterns and nutrient cycling. Their health is also impacted by global climate change. World Oceans Day challenges us to take action to conserve the world’s oceans. There’s no better day to remind ourselves that New York City is an archipelago, many islands grouped together, but surrounded by water. The ocean is right at our doorstep and we can help protect it.
World Oceans Day is focusing their campaign on stopping plastic pollution, an increasingly visible and harmful issue threatening marine life. In New York City, a lot of plastic debris washes into our rivers. Every year, New Yorkers throw away over 10 billion disposable plastic bags. Even more plastic utensils, straws, and bottles are disposed of and can end up in our waterways. You can help reduce plastic waste in the city by choosing to reuse and refuse single-use plastic products. Choosing reusable straws, utensils, bags, mugs, or bottles is a great place to start.
If you’re ready, become a champion for oceans and your local waterways. Encourage your friends and co-workers to choose to reuse as well (read more about influencing people to be more sustainable). Want to do even more? Join a beach clean up and take all those friends you’re trying to convince to make a sustainable change. Many local organizations like Riverkeeper and the Waterfront Alliance work hard to make sure New York’s waterways are healthy and accessible. However, they need volunteers to help keep them as clean as possible. Below are some upcoming river clean up opportunities in the New York.
- Friday, June 8th | Coastal Clean Up with Riverside Park Conservancy and Trash Hero New York
- Tuesday, June 12th | Project WASTE Volunteer Event with Bronx River Alliance
- Thursday, July 26th | Beach Clean Up with Hudson River Park
- Saturday, July 28th | Hudson River Clean Up with United By Blue