There are roughly 95,471 miles of shoreline across the United States and its territories, but many of those miles are now ravaged with pollution. Luckily, environmental organizations, legislators, nonprofits, and hardworking individuals are doing all they can to increase cleanup efforts across the world’s beaches.
According to the Los Angeles Times, one of the most popular beaches in Southern California, Long Beach, will now attempt to slash its air pollution and reach zero-emissions over the next two decades.
The Long Beach Clean Air Action Plan includes phasing out diesel trucks at the Long Beach Port and using natural gas instead and eventually using zero-emissions cargo handling equipment and trucks. The plan was unanimously adopted at a joint meeting in Los Angeles and will cost approximately $14 billion.
“Every step we take to cut air pollution is one toward our ultimate goal of being the world’s first zero-emission seaport,” said Lou Anne Bynum, Harbor Commission President. “We thank the EPA for providing funds to facilitate these projects and improve the health of our community.”
Ajot reports that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is helping Long Beach by awarding it $2.4 million to fund cleaner, more energy efficient tugboats and shipping equipment.
“We will get to zero emissions, make no mistake,” said Mayor Eric Garcetti.
Along with air pollutions ruining the world’s beaches and ports, tiny plastic items are also causing some serious pollution problems in the open water.
According to The Huffington Post, plastic particles from silverware, shopping bags, Styrofoam, bottles, and much more are floating around the earth’s oceans and washing up on shorelines.
Perhaps the most damaging kind of plastic, however, is the smallest kind of material, known as nurdles.
Nurdles are extremely small plastic pellets that are used for manufacturing purposes. Beaches across the world are now being overrun by these tiny pellets, causing damage so severe its being compared to oil spills. Nurdles attract chemical pollutants, which release additional toxins into the water and can harm marine animals. Fish, turtles, birds, and other animals also mistake these pellets for food and end up dying as a result.
Thankfully, there are communities filled with people who are willing to help rid beaches of these toxic pellets.
“We were determined to collect as many as we could,” said Hayley Bevis, who, along with her son’s classmates and parents, spent hours collecting nurdle pellets from the local beach. “I’m sad at the state of our beaches and feel the company responsible should be doing more to help clean up the spill. The general public are doing what they can, but are overwhelmed, and some feel their efforts won’t make an impact.”