Is the plastic only on the surface of the ocean, or is it also found deeper?

The smaller the pieces become, the more susceptible they are to mixing due to turbulence caused by wind and waves. In turbulent seas, even microplastics remain on or near the surface. The highest concentrations of microplastics were found directly on the surface and quickly degraded to trace levels when only a few meters below the surface.  Larger objects, which account for the majority of the plastic in the water, are more buoyant and can be found directly on the surface.

It’s vital to understand that we’re talking about the floating plastic percentage. Plastic that is heavier than water makes up a portion of the plastic that ends up in the ocean. However, most packaging and fishing gear (the two main sources of ocean plastic) are made of buoyant plastics (Polyethylene and Polypropylene), and most life is found at the surface.

What types of plastic are typically found in the middle of the ocean?

Mainly, they consist of HDPE plastics (High Density Polyethylene) and a smaller portion consists of LDPE (Low Density Polyethylene) and PP (Polypropylene).  Because they have a lower density than water, they stay afloat and are more likely to survive in the ocean for long periods of time.

Many common household items are made from HDPE.  These include: bottle caps, toothbrushes, detergent bottles, shampoo bottles, and fishing equipment.

Why are the oceans so important to human life?

Over half of the world’s oxygen is produced by the ocean, which also absorbs 50 times more carbon dioxide than our atmosphere.  Furthermore, the ocean regulates our climate and weather patterns by transporting heat from the equator to the poles.

What are the effects of ocean pollution on humans?

Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs) have become more common along the coasts as a result of pollution from industrial waste, agricultural runoff, pesticides, and human sewage.  These Harmful Algal Blooms produce toxins linked to dementia, amnesia, neurological impairment, and rapid death.


What is a derelict boat?

“Derelict” refers to vessels that are dilapidated and have a known owner, whereas “abandoned” refers to vessels whose owner is unknown or has given up ownership rights.

How do I properly dispose of a boat in Florida?

Entire boats can be disposed in the landfill after all of the hazardous materials have been removed.   Disposal rates are based on weight as published in the SWA Tipping Fee Rate Schedule

More information can be found here – https://swa.org/287/Boaters

How do I claim an abandoned boat in Florida?

There are no “Vessel Salvage Rights” in the state of Florida. The Statutes for Found Property must be followed in order to claim ownership of an abandoned watercraft. A person must report found property to law enforcement under 705.102 FS. After that, you can start the process of claiming found property.

Does Florida have a vessel turn in program?

In addition to the derelict vessel legislation, in 2010 Florida launched the Vessel-at-Risk program, which focuses on law enforcement officials identifying and warning owners of vessels that are at risk of becoming derelict.


How did Clean Oceans start?

Clean Oceans began as a partnership between Andrew LeCoche and Chris Gentry over a shared concern for the health of our oceans.  Combining Andrew’s passion for the environment and Chris’s experience in the maritime industry, along with help from our donors, we are able to tackle the most pressing issues facing our coastal & inland waterways, all while raising awareness in our community.

What are your plans for this year?

We’ll be holding several beach cleanups, working with local marinas to recover derelict & abandoned vessels, and assisting the State and Federal Governments with larger marine debris projects.  

Check out our Events page to see when we’re coming to a beach near you!

How can I help?

-Replace single-use plastic with sustainable alternatives like a refillable water bottle or a reusable shopping bag.

-If you see trash on the ground, pick it up instead of ignoring it!  Approximately 90 percent of ocean plastic is thought to come from land-based sources.

-Join us for an event at your local beach and make a difference by leaving the beach cleaner than you found it!