World River Day Programs 


Until recently, it was thought that just a few major rivers contributed 80% of the plastic entering the oceans, and that focusing on the top 5 – 20 rivers was the best strategy to reduce the flow of plastic to the sea. 


But new research shows it is going to be a bit more complicated than that.


New research published in Science Advances April issue shows that 1,657 rivers are together responsible for 80% of the ocean’s plastic, and that smaller urban rivers play a much bigger role than previously thought.  Move over, Yangtze River —  the short (16-mile-long) Pasig River in Manilla now has the dubious distinction of bringing more plastic to the ocean than any other river in the world.


What Does This Mean for Rotary Clubs?


While the research complicates solution strategies, showing the need for global rather than focused fixes, an organization like Rotary is well suited to play a role.  The larger number of emission points means that Rotary can put its widely distributed membership to work, implementing approaches to prevent, reduce and dispose of plastics before they hit their local waterways.  


World Clean-up/World River Day Programs


ESRAG’s World Rivers Series is providing inspiration and information on river and watershed projects and issues throughout most of September.  Launched on August 11, 2021, it continues past World Clean-up Day on September 18 until World River Day on September 26.  


To learn more about the program and see featured projects:


To register for sessions:


Finally, if you missed or will miss a program, recordings will be available on the Biodiversity page of the ESRAG website.

Esrag Plastics Task Force

river clean up

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