Community Cleanups and Plastic Reduction

Student: Waheed Khalili

As part of the Environmental Center Leadership Program at the University of North Florida, I would get the opportunity to assist on a federally funded research project from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). This project primarily dealt with identifying and limiting the effects of plastic pollution on the environment in Jacksonville, Florida. Plastic pollution in recent years has become a growing epidemic in Jacksonville and all over the world. With more rivers and oceans being polluted with single-use plastic each year, it is not long before there is a significant impact on human health and the ecosystem. As part of this project, I would be responsible for the organization of clean-ups, administration of surveys, and presentation of the amount of plastic collected. Through working at local parks and rivers heavily impacted by pollution, I have seen the evident correlation between environmentalism and human health. The materials and practices we choose to adopt as a society have a pivotal role in the spread and development of diseases.