Litter, Trash, and Debris
You identified litter, trash, and debris as an environmental problem in your community.
Why is this a problem?
Litter, trash, and debris can enter lakes, streams, and rivers through rainwater, wind, and direct dumping. Debris can prevent rivers and streams from flowing naturally, damage aquatic habitats, and threaten wildlife. It also can become a source of chemical pollution it if contains a contaminant or if chemicals are released as the materials degrade. Litter also reduces the recreational value of natural areas by making it look “dirty” and unappealing. Cleaning up litter is costly and adds to the economic burden of local governments.
- Data describing the quantity of litter picked up around the Great Lakes: https://www.miseagrant.umich.edu/lessons/lessons/by-broad-concept/social-science/data-sets/beach-clean-up-data-sets/