According to National Geographic, there are 5.25 trillion pieces of plastic debris in the ocean. Despite having few visitors,
Wallops Island is littered with marine debris. Students learned that this debris was came to Wallops by ocean currents, which can carry trash for miles creating "trash islands" — large clusters of waste that collect in the ocean. These currents have been known to carry trash from as far away as Texas to the Eastern Shore!
Marine debris can be harmful to all sorts of marine life, including turtles, which mistake plastic bags for jellyfish — their favorite food. The students witnessed the negative effects of this debris firsthand, as they found a dogfish ensnared by fishing line. Jackie, the CBFS educator for the day, said “This is why we need to get everybody on board, and say ‘Hey guys, let’s clean up after ourselves when we go to the beach. Let’s make sure it gets into the trash or recycling.’”