In a span of just over three weeks, more than 47 tons of plastic waste were removed from America’s largest protected marine reserve, sometimes directly off animals, a stark reminder of the scourge of plastic pollution in the world’s oceans.

An expedition spent 24 days clearing 10 miles of shoreline in the atolls and islands of the Papahānaumokuākea marine national monument in the remote Northwestern Hawaiian Islands. The team, led by a non-profit with support from state and federal agencies, collected 94,472lb of marine debris, aiming specifically for waste that poses an entanglement hazard to animals, such as derelict fishing gear, also called “ghost nets”.

Keo Seima Wildlife Sanctuary sprawls across a vast expanse of Cambodia’s eastern reach. But much of what used to be covered in lush rainforest has been laid barren by deforestation. Now, satellite data are showing several recent incursions into the sanctuary’s last tracts of primary forest, which provides vital habitat for wildlife – including several endangered species.

Encompassing some 300,000 hectares (3,000 square kilometers/1,160 square miles), Keo Seima contains a dizzying array of animals and plants.

Disabled outdoor hobbyists said at a Tuesday hearing of the House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations that there needs to be more comprehensive information available about accessibility in national parks.

Subcommittee Chair Katie Porter (D-Calif.) said that in addition to physical accessibility for disabled visitors, information about that accessibility is vital to ensure equal access to national parks and trails.

 © 2021 George Wright Society


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