A conference in Cleveland is tackling marine debris, the pieces of plastic that wash up on the river, ocean, or Great Lake shores. It's a issue that has affected the health and appearances of beaches around the world.
Marine debris also has a deadly effect on wildlife, especially birds.
“They can get entangled in fishing line or balloon string,” says Jill Bartolotta, an educator with Ohio Sea Grant. “They also eat plastic because they think its fish or a food item, which will eventually cause them to starve to death.”