• United Hearts of Mercy

Waves of Garbage Hit Dominican Beach

The trash was pushed onto Montesinos Beach by a recent storm, but environmentalists say the scene is becoming all the more common.

The pristine shores of Montesinos Beach in the Dominican Republic have been transformed into a nightmarish scene, with garbage-filled waves depositing literal tons of refuse onto the sand. Footage shot by the environmental group Parley For The Oceans shows a mass of trash, most of it plastic, rippling as a wave rolls beneath it.

The plastic bottles, Styrofoam containers and other refuse that are now clogging up Montesinos Beach are coming from the Ozama River, where people, often living in informal settlements, have taken to dumping their trash, up to 90,000 tons per year.

The plastic on the beach is, in fact, just a small fraction of the trash that is being dumped into the water; most of it gets washed out to sea. And the Dominican Republic is far from the only nation contributing to the staggering quantity of trash in the Earth’s oceans. A recent study found that coastal countries alone sent eight million tons of plastic trash into the oceans in 2010. Yet another recent report predicted that in just over 30 years, plastic will outweigh fish in the ocean.

United Hearts of Mercy is doing all we can to save this beach from a plastic emergency. Your contributions are greatly appreciated.

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