Stop Post-Lockdown Littering That Trashes Beaches and Kills Marine Life

Target: Noah Valenstein, Secretary of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection

Goal: Implement and enforce strong anti-littering guidelines statewide.

Beachgoers in Florida have apparently taken eased lockdown restrictions as a license to litter. At just one beach, volunteer cleaners picked up almost ten times as much trash as they would on an average day. Cocoa Beach logged over 12,000 pounds of garbage total in the weekend after closures were lifted.

These selfish actions do not just mar beautiful scenic coasts. They also pose a grave danger to the diverse marine animals inhabiting oceans. An estimated 100,000 fish, sea lions, seals, turtles, and birds perish every year from the pieces of trash (believed to number in the trillions for plastic alone) infesting oceans. As one volunteer of the recent Cocoa Beach cleanup effort lamented: “we’ve all seen the photo of the straw stuck in a sea turtle’s nose or a 6-pack ring around a bird’s neck.”

With the summer season gearing up, these reckless assaults against the world’s aquatic wonders will likely only multiply if they are not stopped now. Sign the petition below to demand better for Florida’s vital marine ecosystems.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Mr. Valenstein,

One plastic bag thoughtlessly left behind by one careless beachgoer can make a devastating impact felt for centuries. Each piece of plastic can take up to a thousand years to degrade. Along the way to this degradation, this free-floating death-trap can ensnare and kill hundreds if not thousands of aquatic animals. Even when the long-ago trash finally succumbs, its toxic components will still linger, ready to take out more innocent life.

Multiply this tragic tale by 12,000….the number of pounds of trash found on one Florida beach during one weekend. Now consider what this number will look like by summer’s end if urgent action is not taken now. Cocoa Beach strengthened enforcement of littering prohibitions and levied fines. More decisive steps must follow on the state level, however. This environmental catastrophe cannot become the acceptable byproduct of loosened lockdown measures.

Just as the easing of these measures required thought and coordination, so must this troubling pattern of behavior. Ensure the integrity of Florida’s beautiful beaches and take every measure possible to safeguard its vibrant marine life.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Alpha Spirit




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One Comment

  1. People are such disgusting slobs!

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