Marine debris is any man made, solid material, generally trash, that has entered a waterway. Marine debris is not just a coastal problem; it affects every major water system in the world. Marine debris is one of the world’s most pervasive pollution problems and can be harmful to the health and safety of everyone.
Recreational activities provide for the majority of marine debris. Often times marine debris enters the waterway unintentionally, when an object is properly disposed of but the wind or rain carries it out again. However every year thousands of boaters, fisherman and vacationers leave behind trash that become marine debris. Some debris is the result of illegal dumping.. if you see someone dumping waste in a waterway, please call 911 to report.
Marine debris affects the East Fork Little Miami Watershed in many ways. Animals, birds, fish and reptiles can be wounded, strangled, or unable to swim if they become entangled in marine debris. Marine debris clogs and pollutes natural habitats which reduces native species populations. A concern to boaters is that materials floating in the water like netting, plastics, ropes, cables can get tangled in boat propellers and clog intakes.
Another growing concern is that plastic materials, accumulating in the waterways over decades, are breaking down into microscopic particles that are now entering our water supplies.
A single one-liter soda bottle could break down into enough fragments to put one fragment on every mile of beach in the entire world.
Boaters, fisherman and vacationers alike should make a habit of picking up and disposing of lose trash. Set the example, people will follow your leadership.
For hazardous material or large items; motor oil, tires, batteries, electronics. Visit Ohio EPA’s website to find your local recyclers and collection events.
Becky McClatchey, Natural Resources Specialist
East Fork Watershed Collaborative
P.O. BOX 549
Owensville, OH 45160
513-732-7075 Ext: 6