Polson HS grad helping to clean up the ocean

Posted at 8:42 AM, Dec 17, 2018
and last updated 2019-07-22 09:58:21-04

A Polson High School graduate was featured on Sunday’s episode of 60 Minutes that highlighted the impacts of plastics in our oceans.

Kevin O’Brien graduated from PHS in the late 90’s and his parents Dan and Mary still reside in Polson.

O’Brien oversees marine debris removal in the region for the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration and ofter works on Midway Island in the Pacific.

The island is blissfully-isolated, off-limits to the public, and protected as part of one of the largest marine reserves in the world but is still plagued with plastics from around the world.

O’Brien has been going to Midway for a decade to survey and retrieve the debris and says it’s a growing concern of the future health of marine life.

“Whether or not you care about all of these incredible species that live up here in this very remote place, it does necessarily matter,” O’Brien said. “Because there are so many other things that rely on the ocean.”

“People rely on the ocean for their livelihood. Fishermen. People rely on the ocean for recreation, tourism. And right here, we have an indicator of the health of our ocean, he added.

Click here for the full story from 60 Minutes.