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Turtle Trash Collectors is a UNCW MarineQuest outreach program funded by the NOAA Marine Debris Program. It is our goal to educate youth about the impacts of marine debris and encourage behavior changes that will reduce the generation of marine debris in the future.

Join us for a virtual program!
Participate in our Earth Day Upcyling Art Contest in partnership with Plastic Ocean Project
Click here to become a Turtle Trash Collector!
Click here to request your badges!

The Bad News About Marine Debris:

Marine debris, or trash that ends up in the ocean, has major impacts on all kinds of marine animals, especially sea turtles.  These iconic animals can confuse plastic bags and balloons for jellyfish, their favorite food. Any debris that ends up in their system can get stuck, making the turtle feel full so that they stop eating. They can also swallow fishing hooks and even get caught in fishing nets! Since sea turtles are endangered species, we need to find a way to protect them from the impacts of marine debris.

The Good News is...

You can help! Our actions play a big role in the fate of the oceans and our beloved sea turtles! Just by making three easy changes in your life, you can help make our planet a safer place for our sea turtles and ourselves:

  1. Reduce how much plastic you use every day. Opt for reusable water bottles, coffee cups, and food containers.
  2. Help clean up your community. Pick up trash that you see when you are outside to make sure it does not end up in the ocean.
  3. Join our Turtle Trash Collector badge program to earn badges for your efforts!