A recent blog from the Natural Resources Defense Council‚Äôs ocean expert Leila Monroe includes a video shot by Santa Monica High School teacher Benjamin Kay following the “second flush” of rain in California last week.
The video documents the waste and plastic pollution that flowed into Santa Monica Bay as a result of the rainstorm.
See video here: www.youtube.com/watch?v=ifgka3iG5OQ
“Most of California is a very dry state, so when it finally starts to rain the pollution built up over the dry months ‚Äî whether plastic bags, bottles, or toxins ‚Äî washes from inland streets to storm drains and rivers, then out to the ocean,” Monroe writes in her blog, which can be found at switchboard.nrdc.org/blogs/lmonroe.
“The first rain of the season in early November was fairly light, so the massive flow of waste didn‚Äôt make its way to the ocean until this week‚Äôs major downpour,” she adds. “Now, imagine this scene replaying across the state and all around the world, and you‚Äôll understand why globally, oceans are overwhelmed with plastic waste.”
An NRDC report released in August showed that litter cost local governments in California $428 million annually.
“We all can take action to stop plastic pollution from harming our seas.¬† As an individual, the best thing to do is to avoid single-use plastic packaging whenever possible,” Monroe writes. “[W]e also need to call on companies to use less packaging and ensure that packaging is fully recyclable.¬† We also need producers of plastic packaging to pitch in, supporting important actions such as the expansion of recycling infrastructure and storm water management.”
She encourages people to join an effort to stop plastic pollution by visiting www.stopplasticpollution.org.