'Little Mermaid' PSAs Urge Clean-up of Marine Debris

As many vacationers head to the beach in August, Secretary of the Interior Dirk Kempthorne is asking the public to help "rescue" oceans and coastal areas from marine debris.

"Millions and millions of tons of marine debris threaten the health of our oceans," Kempthorne says in a video filmed for the Advertising Council to promote a series of public service advertisements (PSAs) launched this summer. The video can be viewed at http://adcouncil.vo.llnwd.net/o1/WebPkg/oceans_webpkg_doi.wmv.

The PSAs prominently feature scenes and characters from Disney's all-new ocean themed direct-to-DVD film, The Little Mermaid: Ariel's Beginning (debuting on DVD this month). The PSAs can be viewed at http://www.keepoceansclean.org/ads/.

Kempthorne, who has given a number of TV and radio interviews about the PSAs, notes that the Department of the Interior will support widespread viewing of the PSAs. "Let's join with our partners to get the word out in all our 74 marine or island national parks, 177 island and coastal national wildlife refuges, and other beaches and coastal areas around the nation," he said in a message to employees.

The video highlights the Department of the Interior's extensive ocean and coastal responsibilities including management of more than 35,000 miles of coastline, island and coastal national wildlife refuges, and marine or island national parks covering 34 million acres of land, 1.8 billion acres of seabed on the Outer Continental Shelf, and 92 million acres of coral reef ecosystems. More information on Interior's ocean role can be found at: http://www.doi.gov/initiatives/ocean.html

"The PSAs are a family friendly way to show that our planet's water is connected, part of one giant system that flows across countries, continents, and hemispheres," Kempthorne said when the ads were launched. "Even on a beautiful beach at Midway Island in the Pacific, thousands of miles from civilization, I picked up cigarette lighters and other marine debris," he said. "Such pollution comes from all of us. Litter thrown on the street miles away from a river can end up in the river, make its way into our oceans, and wind up in places near and far."