Believe it or not (we certainly can’t), it’s already the end of April! With that has come Earth Day last weekend, National Picnic Day just earlier this week, and (hopefully) loads of nicer weather. So, as we march into May, let’s keep the lessons we’ve learned from these recent holidays in mind—enjoy the outdoors responsibly and care for our planet! How do we put that into practice? Well, here are some tools to keep in your picnic basket for the next time you’re enjoying the spring weather in the great outdoors.
Earth Day is right around the corner! This year, it falls on this coming Sunday, April 22nd. Celebrate by taking the opportunity to join in the fight against marine debris and prevent trash from entering our ocean, waterways, and Great Lakes. There are lots of cleanup events happening on and around Earth Day; make sure you’re prepared by knowing what cleanups are happening in your area. We’ve put together a list of cleanups happening throughout the country to get you started. Don’t see a cleanup close to you? Start one yourself! Gather some friends, clean up your local community (please remember, safety first), and use the Marine Debris Tracker App to record what you find!
It’s that time of year—time to announce the winners of the NOAA Marine Debris Program Annual Art Contest! We had hundreds of impressive entries this year and although we wish we could showcase them all, we are excited to share this year’s winners with you. The NOAA Marine Debris Program holds this annual art contest to reach K-8 students and help raise awareness about marine debris, one of the most significant problems our ocean faces today. The resulting calendar, featuring the winning artwork, will help to remind us every day how important it is for us to be responsible stewards of the ocean. This year’s winners will be featured in our 2019 calendar, available later this year.
Spring has officially begun and while most of us are looking forward to April’s showers bringing those promised May flowers, we often forget that this melty and rainy spring weather often brings something much less pleasant as well— marine debris. With rains and melting snow and ice, trash that has found its way to our streets, storm drains, shorelines, etc. is flushed out into our ocean, Great Lakes, and waterways. In some areas, some of this trash may have been trapped within the snow for months before being swept away with melting runoff.