By: Stephanie Huynh | Contributor | email@example.com
Photo source: MSSA Instagram (@usa_marine_science_club)
The Marine Science Student Association (MSSA) partnered with the Biology Student Association (BSA) to host a campus cleanup on Jan. 22.
Despite chilly morning conditions, students gathered in the North Lot by the Marx Library and spread out across South’s campus in groups to gather as much trash as they could between 10 a.m. and 12 p.m. The service event was open for all to participate and members from all sorts of organizations, including Alpha Epsilon Delta (AED) and Circle K International (CKI), were in attendance.
There wasn’t much trash along the main sidewalks of campus thanks to the diligent groundskeepers, but cleanup participants were still able to collect over 10 bags from other parts of campus. Some of the most common items that were picked up were straws, receipts and various forms of food packaging, including cups, lids and wrappers.
The MSSA is anticipating a busy semester of marine education and new experiences. The club focuses on everything pertaining to marine science, and it is open to all majors.
You may be wondering how a land-based cleanup pertains to marine life. Trash manages to find its way into our water very easily. According to Conservation.org, eight million metric tons of plastic are dumped into the ocean each year. By 2050, it is estimated that the amount of plastic in the ocean will outweigh all of the ocean’s fish.
Wildlife can be affected by dangerous debris and other microplastics and our trash could unintentionally harm different species beyond our current generation. Being conscientious about our waste on a daily basis can help prevent the growth of more garbage patches – large areas of the ocean where marine debris collects – and we can start easily by holding onto our trash until we find the proper receptacles.
According to MSSA President Amaya Brogden, the organization isn’t likely to host another cleanup until next semester. However, they’ve planned quite the lineup of weekend events for their members to attend. This includes a behind-the-scenes tour of the Bama Bay Oyster Farm on Feb. 19 and a stewardship at the Grand Bay NERR in Moss Point, Miss. on Feb. 26.