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16,404 pieces of litter, 438 hats removed from Yellowstone thermal areas (PHOTOS)

(Yellowstone National Park, Facebook)

CASPER, Wyo. — Over the summer a Thermal Area Preservation Program team removed 438 hats and 16,404 pieces of litter from thermal areas in Yellowstone National Park.

“’Reach into your pocket for your camera and out comes a stray wrapper along with it,'” Megan Norr with the Geothermal Monitor says in Yellowstone’s announcement. “‘A brief gust of wind and say bye to your hat. Most people know not to throw things into hot springs, but many of the impacts we’re seeing seem to be accidental. So hold onto your hats.’”

The team collects data which park officials use “to guide management decisions in order to better protect these natural resources for the future.”

(Yellowstone National Park, Facebook)