One of the simplest ways to help wild dolphins — and all other marine life — is to make sure you’re not leaving trash in our waterways or allowing garbage to blow into the water from land or from boats.

Another is to remove trash from our environment when you spot it. You can even make a game of it by joining the Sarasota Dolphin Research Program Debris Team and tracking all the trash you remove from our waterways.

All you have to do is visit Apple’s App Store or GooglePlay and download the free “Marine Debris Tracker” app and join our team (look for the Chicago Zoological Society’s green bison logo to find us). Then, just log any trash you pick up.

Our team includes staff members, volunteers, interns, students and other concerned citizens. You don’t even have to be in the Sarasota area to be part of our team! To date, we’ve logged 86,536 pieces of trash removed from our environment — including fishing gear, ropes or nets, balloons, plastic bags, cans, bottles, food wrappers and more.

Each “rescued” piece of trash is one less item that could pollute the environment or be ingested by, or entangled around, a seabird, sea turtle, fish, manatee or dolphin.