The weather is starting to get nicer, and soon lots of people will be headed toward Western New York's expansive shorelines and waterways.
When you head out this season, you might see something strange floating in the water -- and officials want people to know -- leave it alone.
Many small, orange plastic bottles are being launched, purposefully, into Lake Ontario this spring.
It's a project put together by researchers at the University of Toronto, and the objective is to track where trash and other garbage in the lake winds up.
The bottles appear to be modified Blender Bottles. Each orange bottle is equipped with a GPS sensor inside that will track the bottle's journey from various drop off points as it travels through different routes, and will provide information about where much of the lake's garbage eventually lands.
If you're boating or walking along the shorelines and see one of these orange bottles, you're asked to just leave it alone.
CTV News says that researchers are interested in tracking how floating litter moves through Lake Ontario; specifically, how plastics travel.
The team plans to use the data to best figure out where to install litter collection devices.
According to CTV News, 20 bottles were launched into Lake Ontario, and their trackers can provide hourly data on the bottle's location.
According to the Plastic Ocean Project, over 22 million tons of plastic garbage enters the Great Lakes each year -- the amount of plastic garbage rivals that of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.
Of that 22 million tons, three million pounds of plastic garbage makes its way to Lake Ontario.
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