Thursday is the 51st anniversary of Earth Day! The Tennessee Aquarium is partnering with TDOT’s Nobody Trashes Tennessee campaign. This campaign will highlight the impact of road litter and microplastics on waterways.
“TDOT spends 19 million dollars picking up litter across the state of Tennessee. At any given time in the state, there are a hundred million pieces of litter on Tennessee’s roadways,” says Denise Baker, TDOT – Transportation Program Supervisor.
Thom Benson, Tennessee Aquarium – Communications and Marketing Officer says, “Intentional trash, those items that are just tossed out of a car window or thrown out to the sidewalk as you’re walking on the street, are really a problem. You can almost think about that as having a glass of water and throwing that item in the glass of water because the Tennessee River is the source of our drinking water here in Chattanooga.”
The two new exhibits will show how trash can not only destroy aquatic life but impact recreation and drinking water as well. The exhibits are for all ages and will use actual litter taken from the banks of the Tennessee River.
“I think if we can inspire kids to, get them out in nature, get them connected to nature and then, think about ways that we can make the world a better place each time we get out there. That’s what Earth Day is all about, raising awareness to a point where people start to think, ‘I want to get involved, how can I do that?” says Benson.
Ways people can help keep the rivers, lakes and streams healthy are to stop littering, limit single-use plastic, and constantly make an effort to recycle. The exhibits are open to the public today and will be a permanent addition to the Tennessee aquarium. For tickets, head here.
“There’s no better day than to get out the ‘Nobody Trashes Tennessee’ message. Litter hurts our environment, it hurts the economic stability of any given area,” says Baker.