Marine parks in Florida, Texas, Florida and South Carolina have been receiving the largest amounts of marine debris in decades, according to a new report.
The report, published by the Environmental Working Group (EWG), found that marine debris has been accumulating at marine parks in South Carolina, Florida, Georgia and Alabama since 2012.
The amount of debris accumulated at marine park properties has more than tripled since 2010, when the state’s first marine parks were built.
“As a result of the rapid expansion of marine parks, the cumulative amount of marine material in the South Carolina and Georgia waters has tripled since the late 1990s,” according to the report.
“This increase is so large, in fact, that it has surpassed the total number of human deaths in the state of South Carolina.
The number of deaths is now more than 8,000, surpassing the total population of the state,” according the report released on Thursday.
“These are places where people died from cancer, from heart disease, from accidents, and from pollution,” said the report’s co-author, Daniel M. Schoettle.
“It’s time to say enough is enough.
We need to stop this.
It is time to start putting people back to work, to get the ocean cleaned up and to get marine parks to take responsibility for the pollution they have caused.”
The EWG also released a statement in response to the EWG report.
“We know from our research that there is significant pollution in our oceans.
That pollution is causing harm to the environment and people’s health.
Our data shows that in many cases, this pollution is occurring in facilities that were built or are being constructed in the 1990s, not in facilities built in the 21st century.
The problem is that these facilities are not being regulated by the federal government, which has a long record of failing to enforce the law and the laws it is supposed to be enforcing,” said EWG President and CEO Lisa Graves.
“The Department of Labor and the EPA are supposed to protect marine sanctuaries and marine parks by enforcing environmental laws and implementing clean water programs.
Instead, these two agencies are failing to do this.”
The report found that in the past five years, nearly 5,000 pieces of debris have been recovered from marine parks.
“In some cases, the cleanup of debris in the waters surrounding these parks has cost the state hundreds of millions of dollars,” the report states.
“But we are not talking about a few hundred dollars.
We are talking about billions of dollars.
That’s what the waste is costing the state, and we are paying the cost of this pollution,” Graves added.
The EWGs report was conducted after a Florida man was sentenced to 20 years in prison for dumping tons of garbage at a marine park, which included plastic bags, plastic bottles, and plastic bottles filled with plastic.
In response to questions about the spill, the state responded to the federal investigation with a statement saying, “The Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has been conducting a comprehensive and transparent review of marine sanctities and park facilities over the past decade to ensure that we take every step to protect the public and ensure the environment.”
“We also believe that our state is in a position to demonstrate that we are truly committed to environmental stewardship and are making progress on the issue of marine trash in the Everglades,” the statement continued.
“Our state has the highest concentration of marine life on the continental United States and, over the last decade, has been recognized by environmental organizations as having the highest levels of marine conservation in the nation,” the state continued.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture, the U.N. Environmental Program, and the National Marine Fisheries Service all issued a joint statement in March 2017 calling for a moratorium on all marine debris from any park or facility in Florida and for the U:S.
Fish and Wildlife Service to take immediate action to curb the waste.
“We urge all parties to work together to restore the integrity of our national marine sanctuses and to address the issue head-on,” the agency said in a statement at the time.
“Once this process is complete, we will be able to share with the public a clear picture of the impacts of marine waste on our oceans and the recovery of these valuable resources.”