An edition of: WaterAtlas.orgPresented By: USF Water Institute

Water-Related News

New year, same goal: A debris-free Florida

Florida is unique as the only state that borders both the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico. No matter where you are in the state, you’re never more than 60 miles from the nearest body of water. It also means that the daily choices and activities of Florida’s residents and visitors can easily lead to debris in our coastal and marine habitats. Luckily, our partners across the region are kicking off the New Year with renewed energy and effort in leading marine debris removal and prevention projects to keep Florida’s waters healthy and free of debris.

Students at Eckerd College and the University of North Florida are learning to reduce their single-use plastic consumption by making sustainable purchasing and personal decisions to ultimately prevent marine debris. The project’s Plastic Reduction Challenges gave students the opportunity to use a smartphone app to track their use of both plastic and plastic alternative items. During these challenges, the students also completed surveys to gauge their knowledge, views, and beliefs related to plastics, and whether their views changed over time. Through educational opportunities, workshops, and campus and community cleanups, students are learning firsthand the environmental impacts of their daily choices.