The ocean is one of the most complex ecosystems in the world, with many difficult conservation challenges. But there is one challenge that’s easy to understand—trash. 

It may be simple, but that doesn’t mean it’s not a big deal. And it sure doesn’t mean it’s a cheap problem to fix. In fact, trash is one of the major threats to the health of our ocean and our beaches. In addition to its direct physical danger to wildlife and humans, it compromises the livelihoods of communities that depend on a healthy ocean for shipping and transportation, tourism, and fishing. And because so much of the trash is hidden below the surface or far from the coast, way out on open water, removal is incredibly expensive.

Ocean Conservancy has been leading the movement for trash-free seas for 25 years, promoting research, knowledge sharing, and innovative, science-based solutions to achieve cleaner oceans. We believe everyone can play a role. The most important thing we can do for the future of our oceans is stop the flow of trash at the source, before it ever reaches the sea. If we can keep millions of pounds of new trash from entering our ocean, our ongoing efforts at trash removal will have more impact. 

Everyone can play a role — will you?