Our Efforts Against Marine Debris

Our waterway clean-up programs all contribute to marine debris-free rivers, streams, and Great Lakes! Learn what our volunteers have accomplished in the past and how you can join the fight against marine debris.

Program Impact: Clean Your Streams Day

During waterway clean-up programs, volunteers fill out data cards to total the marine debris they remove. This effort allows us to to track their progress and celebrate their successes. We submit volunteer data to the International Coastal Clean-up Database, as well as share data with local municipalities to aid with stormwater planning.

Click on the infographic below to expand the image to see the results from the most recent Clean Your Streams Day.

Frequently Found

The top ten items items found across our clean-up sites demonstrate that a significant amount of trash comes from single-use products. This includes food wrappers, cigarette butts, plastic bottles, plastic bags, disposable cups and plates, and aluminum beverage cans. Individuals can have an enormous impact on reducing the amount of these types of waste by making conscious efforts to avoid using products that contain these materials.

Some of the easiest ways to reduce your footprint are to use reusable water bottles instead of plastic one-time-use bottles and by utilizing reusable grocery bags instead of disposable plastic grocery bags. Another great way to reduce food packaging is to bring your own containers to your grocery store and buy food from the bulk section. 

Strange Finds

Volunteers find many other unique items that tell a different story about marine debris. Unusual items our volunteers have recently uncovered include toilets, mattresses, street signs, toy kitchen play sets, and more.

It is important to find the appropriate methods to dispose of such unusual items. Many municipalities and cities hold special trash days where people can dispose of large amounts of trash or larger items. Lucas County provides a number of opportunities for trash disposal, with more information on their website. One of our area partners, Keep Toledo/Lucas County Beautiful, also has numerous resources available for proper trash disposal.

More On Marine Debris

Sorts and Sources

Marine debris comes in many shapes and sizes. Where are some of the places it comes from?

Join the Fight

Looking for more ways you can make a difference? We’ve put together our top tips.

Resource Collection

This collection includes resources for everyone from grade school to life-long learner adults.