World Oceans Day celebrates our planet, reducing plastic waste

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This weekend is all about oceans. People and organizations are taking the chance to celebrate our blue planet in honor of World Oceans Day.

The day is about honoring our planet earth and the oceans that makeup 71 percent of it. Many organizations in Southwest Florida are taking steps to better our water quality.

These range from bans on plastic straws and bags on our beaches to artificial reefs. You can celebrate World Oceans Day on Sunday at Lover’s Key State Park. The event starts at 10 a.m.

This is the first year Lover’s Key State Park is putting on the event and park managers said how you treat our waterways has a significant impact on oceans around the world.

“Even though we’re here on the Gulf of Mexico,” said Katie Moses, a park manager, “everything we do impacts not only the Gulf of Mexico but all the oceans worldwide.”

Moss said one of the best ways to reduce plastic usage is by switching from a plastic water bottle to a reusable one.

Plastic waste has plagued our oceans for years. The substance is hard to break down and can end up in the bodies of wildlife.

Local government organizations in Southwest Florida have taken steps to minimize plastic waste. Fort Myers Beach and Sanibel have plastic straw bans in place.

Other places have made efforts to ban plastic bags, which are harmful to animals like sea turtles, known to nest on Lover’s Key State Park.

“Unfortunately sea turtles, they like to eat jellyfish and a lot of times plastic, especially plastic grocery bags are floating in the ocean, they can look like jellyfish,” Moses said.

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