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Support Plastic Cleanup Projects for Pennsylvania

Support Plastic Cleanup Projects for Pennsylvania Plastic-collected-on-a-Florida-beach-near-Key-Largo

Essent Summer Interns Service Project

Welcome to the Summer Interns Service Project Donation Site! Thank you for your donation! All proceeds go directly to Ocean Blue Project

$1 = 1lb of plastic removed

A gift to you from Healthy Human and Ocean Blue
With every donation of $100 or more, our supporters receive an Ocean Blue Project water bottle. And with every Annual Membership donation of $50 we can remove 50 pounds of plastic and debris from beaches and waterways that flow to our one world ocean!

You’re going to love your new insulated Eco Friendly Reusable Stainless Steel Water Bottle, made and donated by Healthy Human® company! It’ll keep your water cold during the warmer summer months and help raise awareness for clean oceans!

Where does your donation to Ocean Blue go?
100% of the proceeds from your purchase are dedicated to removing plastic from our one world ocean and saving millions of marine mammals! Because of you, we are one step closer to our goals of planting 1 million native Trees for Streams and removing 1 million pounds of plastic marine debris from our coasts and river banks!

Ocean Blue Project, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and our Federal Tax ID # 75-3022057.

Thank you for sharing our vision of a clean world ocean.

Who is Ocean Blue Project?
Ocean Blue Project is a grassroots, boots-on-the-sand, environmental nonprofit. Everything flows downstream and the ocean is a mirror reflection of our city streets. Our mission is to make it possible for wildlife and human communities to thrive through rehabilitating and conserving our one world ocean, beaches, and rivers. That’s why we educate, empower, and lend our technical expertise to communities and local governments around the world. Our work is organized around four main programs:

Ocean Blue Project is a 501c3 nonprofit organization founded in 2012 in Newport, Oregon by father and son, Richard and Fleet Arterbury, tribal members of the Choctaw Nation. We are built around one vision: that the world’s ocean, beaches and rivers will once again be pristine, self-sustaining ecosystems where wildlife and human communities can coexist and thrive.

What does Ocean Blue Project do?
We educate, empower, and lend our technical expertise to local communities and governments to rehabilitate wildlife and ecosystems through mobilizing and coordinating resources, educating youth, and reconnecting people to their environment. To bring about such change, our members and volunteers clean up beaches and river banks, restore riverside vegetation, and train their fellow community members on ways to reduce environmental pollutants and help improve biodiversity and wildlife habitat in the local ecosystems.

Since our founding, Ocean Blue Project volunteers have recovered over 240,000 pounds of debris from beaches and waterways. We have also planted 9,900 native shrubs and Trees for Streams. Our main goal is to recover 1 million pounds of plastic debris from the coasts and river banks by 2025, starting a virtuous cycle of habitat restoration, ecosystem diversity, and cleansing of our waterways.

Why and how do we do what we do?
This is vital work when you consider the impact plastic has on our wildlife and ecosystem. For example, it is estimated that 28% of dolphins ingest plastic, 9% of sea turtles die from plastic ingestion, and a staggering 63% of Albatross have ingested plastic in their own home habitats.

In addition, to our work in cleanups, community education, and planting native trees for streams, we encourage people to take simple daily steps to reduce pollution through our #Cleanup3ForTheSea movement, reduce their use of single-use plastics, organize their own cleanups, and make in-kind donations to support our mission. Every dollar raised allows us to clean one pound of plastic and debris from beaches and waterways that flow to our one world ocean.

Microplastic and Fungal Bioprospecting Research Project by Ocean Blue
Microplastics are consumed by various marine organisms, including coral, crustaceans, fish, and plankton, harming marine health and ecosystems. Marine life “eats” microplastics because the plastics are believed to be food due to the size of the particles. The negative impacts of microplastics are profound and ceaseless. As marine life consumes microplastics and is then consumed by larger marine life, the plastic toxins also bioaccumulate up the food chain.

Microplastics directly impact human health in a variety of ways. For example, by consuming seafood, humans are ingesting the toxins associated with plastics as they bioaccumulate at dangerous concentrations. Toxins can leach directly from the plastic into the waterways, poisoning groundwater and runoff. However, some plastic polymers closely resemble organic compounds in their composition, enough so that certain strains of fungi can break down and decompose certain plastics.

What is Fungal Bioprospecting?
Fungal bioprospecting is a new field with not a lot known about the range of organisms that can degrade plastics. The application of microbes and enzymes to degrade plastics shows promise to address the plastic crisis we are facing today on a global scale. Some microbes are free living while others reside inside invertebrate guts, including termites, and there is debate between the advocacy for incubating plastics within the invertebrates and the cost effectiveness and efficiency to use the microbes and enzymes on their own.

Only a few microbes are known to perform the function. Therefore, locating and identifying microbes that work on their own or provide enzymes for industrial use is imperative. We will provide this information by using a combination of molecular-genetic methods to a) identify microbes in given environments, in this case an environment rich in plastics and b) identify which microbes in this mix could act as sources of enzymes for industrial use.

NASA and Research Team Leads
We have experience in this type of work, as co-lead researcher Ken Cullings of NASA Ames Research Center has made a career of studying microbial functioning in natural ecosystems, and in discovering new forms of microbial life that are novel, and could be of use in environmental remediation, e.g. Dr. Cullings is retiring from NASA this year to work with us in a number of microbial and remediation projects both here and in New Zealand.

Co-investigator, Richard Arterbury, Founder and Executive Director of Ocean Blue Project, has been working with mycorrhizae from the age of twelve growing watermelons and other crops with the Traditional Ecological Knowledge passed down by his ancestors of the Choctaw Nation in the southern region of the United States. Richard has also been working with fungi applications for mycofiltration in urban streams since 2012.