When you picture the Caribbean, you probably imagine pristine, white sandy beaches and crystal clear waters; however, there is a darker side that most people do not know about. Ocean plastic pollution is a serious problem for a lot of islands in the region. Many of them simply do not have the local infrastructure and resources to deal with the waste that is produced. Once it makes its way into the ocean, prevailing winds and ocean currents can stack this rubbish on the beaches a meter high. This is what led us to Haiti and now we have a full-time cleanup operation on the island to help stem the flow of plastic and other trash into the ocean. With more than 80 individuals working to clean the ocean and coastlines 7 days a week, 4ocean is removing tens of thousands of pounds per month from this area. Check out this awesome video about the operation.
Haiti will also be the first destination for the 4ocean Ocean Plastic Recovery Vessel. With the ability to target high-impact areas like river mouths, the OPR Vessel is likely going to be a game-changer for the region. The vessel can hold up to 310,000 pounds on her deck so being in remote locations to gather plastic shouldn't be a problem. Bringing this plastic back to our facility where we can weigh, sort and prepare it for recycling is the next step in the process. Finally, the plastic is formed into recycled plastic flake, pellets, or cord for reuse.
Make sure you follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to stay up on all things 4ocean. Also, make sure to join the conversation on our new Discover 4ocean Facebook Group. We have some really amazing things lined up for this year so make sure to check back often!
We spent the weekend cleaning areas in both the Middle and Upper Florida Keys, areas that were damaged and heavily impacted by the accumulation of marine debris during Hurricane Irma. You won't believe what our before and after pictures look like!
It turns out that some iconic Spring Break hotspots are extremely important, ecologically valuable areas to the species that call them home. Plastic pollution left behind by Spring Break revelers can cause tremendous harm to endangered species and critical habitats, so have fun but always clean up afterward.
In our Meet the Team Blog Series, we will take a look at some of the 4ocean employees cleaning up the ocean and coastlines around the world. We all know the problem of ocean plastic pollution is a complicated one, but we have people like Captain Louie out there every day tackling the problem head-on!