Celebrate World Oceans Day on June 3 by helping to pick up trash in the Blue River Watershed in Kansas City

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Kansas City
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Kansas City, Mo. – Where does a floatable plastic beverage bottle tossed away as litter eventually wind up? It could be in the ocean. Litter washed by rains into waterways harms stream health, and all streams lead eventually to the oceans. So, to celebrate World Oceans Day, volunteers are invited to help remove trash from areas that feed into the Blue River Watershed from 9 to 11 a.m. on Saturday, June 3, in Kansas City. This cleanup is sponsored by SEA LIFE Kansas City Aquarium, Missouri Stream Team, and Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC).

Volunteers will meet at Kansas City’s Spring Valley Park, at East 27th Street and Woodland Avenue, to remove trash from a drainage that eventually feeds into the Blue River. Trash bags and gloves will be provided. Volunteers should dress accordingly for outdoor work, wear shoes or boots they don’t mind getting muddy, bring sunscreen and bug repellant, and bring drinking water. The event will kick off with a short safety talk at 9 a.m. at the check-in booth.

Oceans cover more than 70 percent of the planet. They are a life source supporting humanity and the natural world throughout the Earth. Oceans produce at least 50 percent of the planet’s oxygen. The salty waters host incredible biodiversity. Oceans are a main source of protein for people and an economic driver, with an estimated 40 million people to be employed by ocean-based industries by 2030.

But oceans, which are fed by rivers, now need support. That support can start near home by taking care of local streams, including by removing trash such as plastics. Plastics are the largest and most harmful form of marine litter.

Litter that’s tossed into yards, streets, and parks can be washed into storm sewers or creeks that feed into the Blue River, which flows through the heart of Kansas City. Cleanups keep local trash from winding up in the Gulf of Mexico via the Missouri and Mississippi rivers. Missouri Stream Team and SEA LIFE Kansas City are partnering with MDC to provide a volunteer opportunity that celebrates oceans and healthy streams.

Missouri Stream Team is a partnership between MDC, the Missouri Department of Natural Resources, and the Conservation Federation of Missouri. Stream Teams are volunteer-driven programs locally organized by people who care about healthy streams. For more information on being a Stream Team volunteer, visit Home (mostreamteam.org).

SEA LIFE Kansas City Aquarium at Crown Center provides an intimate aquarium experience to come face-to-fin with sharks, rescued sea turtles, seahorses, jellyfish, stingrays, and thousands of other creatures. SEA LIFE Kansas City is partnered with the SEA LIFE Trust, a registered charity (No. 1175859) working globally to protect the world’s oceans and the amazing marine life that lives within them. This cleanup will be included in the SEA LIFE Trust Global Beach Clean taking place across the globe to celebrate World Oceans Day on June 8. For more information, visit SEA LIFE Kansas City Aquarium (visitsealife.com) or The SEA LIFE Trust (sealifetrust.org).

For more information about the June 3 Blue River cleanup, contact Cara Arrigo, MDC stream team biologist, at 314-301-1506, or Cara.Arrigo@mdc.mo.gov.