A group cleaning up marine debris around Prince William Sound recovered 200 tons of trash from about 12 miles of Alaska’s coastline.
Gulf of Alaska Keeper (GoAK) is a nonprofit dedicated to picking up debris around the state. This summer, the crew spent a month at Montague Island and two weeks at Kayak Island.
Marine debris specialist Scott Groves said they filled 1,200 “super sacks” and collected thousands of buoys.
“It’s such a pristine place out there also, so being able to fly over where we’ve cleaned and to see what we have done is a good feeling,” Groves said.
All the trash was brought to Anchorage on a barge that took an entire day to unload.
Now, they need help sorting through it. Groves said the goal is to go through all the super sacks and pick out everything that can be recycled, which could be as much as 80 percent of the total debris.
“With the amount of plastic everyone uses is today’s age, a lot of what we find is single-use plastics. So just taking one water bottle and being able to reuse that again is huge,” said Groves.
About 100 volunteers will help with the work over the weekend. GoAK still needs people to pitch in on weekdays July 18-22. Their hope is to get through all the garbage in about 10 days.
Sorting will take place at the North Star Terminal every day from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Coordinators ask people to sign up by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.