Mississippi River cities join project to map plastic litter

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FILE – The Eads Bridge crosses the Mississippi River from Illinois to Missouri as the sun sets beyond the Gateway Arch, Tuesday, April 14, 2020, in St. Louis. Cities along the Mississippi River will take part in a global system to determine where plastic pollution comes from and how it ends up in waterways as a first step toward solving the problem, officials said Wednesday, March 3, 2021. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. — Cities along the Mississippi River will take part in a global system to determine where plastic pollution comes from and how it ends up in waterways.

Officials said Wednesday the project is a first step toward solving one of the top environmental crises for the world’s oceans. The project enables “citizen scientists” using a mobile application to log types and locations of litter found along the river.

The Mississippi drains 40% of the continental U.S. and sends huge volumes of plastics into the Gulf of Mexico.

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