March 3, 2017
With over 250 million tons of waste created every year in the United States1, a lot of it ends up in our local waterways, including streams and rivers. This pollution may look like one small piece of trash to us – what harm could come from one straw, right? – but it can build up over time and have a horrific and harm impact on wild animals and our water supplies.
That’s where Living Lands and Waters come in. This organization was created to address the problems river ecosystems are experiencing and make sure they are being preserved. To date, Living Lands and Waters have removed over 9 MILLION pounds of debris. And that’s an effort that the SeaWorld & Busch Gardens Conservation Fund, and SeaWorld ambassadors, couldn’t ignore. The Fund supports the efforts of Living Lands and Waters by providing volunteers and aiding the organization in using eco-friendly barges.
SeaWorld ambassador, Amanda, got the opportunity of a lifetime to board a barge and travel from Cincinnati, Ohio to St. Louis, Missouri. If you’re wondering what you do on a river barge for several days while travelling with the crew of Living Lands and Water…it’s pretty simple. Amanda and the crew were cleaning up trash and debris on the Mississippi River. We began following Amanda’s journey prior to her trip. You can read that here.
Amanda said, “I am so proud to work for a company that supports such an incredible organization that shares the same passion for the environment. I am so excited that I was chosen to participate in this project for so many reasons, but what I am most excited about, is sharing this experience with so many others.”
Over the 6 days Amanda was on the barge with other volunteers, they cleaned up over 29,000 pounds of trash! On the final day in St. Louis, they had over 150 volunteers participate in the Great Mississippi River Cleanup and in 2 hours, they picked up over 11 thousand pounds of trash. This is trash and debris that would have otherwise been left in the Mississippi River.
“I love to help to empower our future generations,” says Amanda. “I want to teach them to Explore, Inspire, and Act and to realize that it just takes one person with one vision to create a big change and that each individual’s actions can impact the environment in huge way.”
Initiatives like these are helping our world. You can do your part by participating in local clean-ups around your community.
1EPA Advancing Sustainable Materials Management: 2014 Fact Sheet