Fighting for Trash Free Seas People know that trash in the water: compromises the health of humans, wildlife and the livelihoods that depend on a healthy ocean;threatens tourism and recreation, and the critical dollars they add to our local economies;complicates shipping and transportation by causing navigation hazards; andgenerates steep bills for retrieval and removal. Unfortunately, what we see dirtying beaches and floating on the ocean’s surface is just the tip of the iceberg. Much more lies unseen beneath the surface and far away on the open water — but that doesn’t make it any less important. That’s why Ocean Conservancy is taking bold action, working to stop the flow of trash at the source, before it has a chance to reach the water to choke and entangle dolphins or endanger sea turtles, or ruin our beaches and depress our local economies. We need your help to keep millions of pounds of trash from our oceans - your everyday choices can help keep it clean. A Movement for Trash Free Seas
10 Things You Can Do to Save the Ocean -- National Geographic 1. Mind Your Carbon Footprint and Reduce Energy Consumption Reduce the effects of climate change on the ocean by leaving the car at home when you can and being conscious of your energy use at home and work. A few things you can do to get started today: Switch to compact fluorescent light bulbs, take the stairs, and bundle up or use a fan to avoid oversetting your thermostat. 2. Global fish populations are rapidly being depleted due to demand, loss of habitat, and unsustainable fishing practices. 3. Plastics that end up as ocean debris contribute to habitat destruction and entangle and kill tens of thousands of marine animals each year. 4. Whether you enjoy diving, surfing, or relaxing on the beach, always clean up after yourself. 5. Certain products contribute to the harming of fragile coral reefs and marine populations. 6. Read pet food labels and consider seafood sustainability when choosing a diet for your pet. 7. 8. 9. 10.
How You Can Help the Ocean The threats faced by our ocean planet may seem overwhelming. In the face of pollution, climate change, overfishing, and other daunting problems, what you can do on your own may seem like a drop in the bucket. But if we begin working together now, we can make a huge difference. Here are some ways to get started: A beach clean-up in Malaysia brings young people together to care for their coastline. Credit: Liew Shan Sern/Marine Photobank Make the ConnectionThe first step in making a difference is learning about the ocean and how your actions have an impact. Flickr User fatedsnowfox Be Water Wise All water on Earth is connected. • In the yard: Use as little fertilizer as possible. • On the table: Look for fruits and vegetables that are grown without pesticides (and don't spray them in your own garden). • In the house: Choose non-toxic cleaning products and low-phosphate detergents. Cristina Castillo / Smithsonian Institution Trim Down Trash Remember that trash we "throw away" doesn't disappear.
Local Recycling Centers and Recycling Information and Statistics. Learn How to Recycle and Live Green - RecyclingCenters.org Oceans of Trash Kids picking up trash on a beach. (Photo: Randy Faris/Corbis) Litter isn't just a problem in local parks and on sidewalks. It's also threatening the health of the Earth's oceans. According a report released earlier this month by the United Nations (UN), our oceans are filling up with trash. The garbage gets into the oceans when people litter. Trash also gets thrown into rivers that flow into oceans. The biggest concern about ocean trash is that most of it is plastic. Plastic can take up to 1,000 years to biodegrade, or break down into smaller parts, once it's thrown away. Danger to All People rarely see these garbage patches because they are created in areas of the ocean far away from land. Plastic and other junk that ends up in the ocean can wash up on beaches. Humans can be affected by beach trash as well. Plastic can be deadly for animals that live in the ocean. How to Help Without urgent action, the UN says in its report, the ocean trash problem will only get worse.
Plastics in the Ocean Affecting Human Health Author: Gianna Andrews This case study is part of a collection of pages developed by students in the 2012 introductory-level Geology and Human Health course in the Department of Earth Sciences, Montana State University. Learn more about this project. Mountain of Plastic. Photo credit: Top News, "Scientists Baffled by Mystery of Missing Ocean Plastic", Jamie Williamson, Over a few decades, humans have managed to dump tons upon tons of garbage into the ocean. The Three Plastic Islands The Great Pacific Garbage Patch, also know as the Pacific Trash Vortex or gyre, is located in the central North Pacific Ocean and is larger than the state of Texas. Plastics are transported and converge in the ocean where currents meet. Location of Plastic Islands in Ocean. Sources of Plastic Toxins Entering the Oceanic Food Chain Chemicals in plastics are released into the water as well as the atmosphere. Recycle! Related Links 1.
Study: Plastic in 'Great Pacific Garbage Patch' increases 100-fold Mario Aguilera / Scripps Institution of Oceanography SEAPLEX researchers encounter a large ghost net with tangled rope, net, plastic, and various biological organisms during a 2009 expedition in the Pacific gyre. Matt Durham (seen wearing a blue shirt) is pictured with Miriam Goldstein. By Ian Johnston, msnbc.com The amount of plastic trash in the "Great Pacific Garbage Patch" has increased 100-fold during the past 40 years, causing "profound" changes to the marine environment, according to a new study. Scientists from Scripps Institution of Oceanography in San Diego found that insects called "sea skaters" or "water striders" were using the trash as a place to lay their eggs in greater numbers than before. In a paper published by the journal Biology Letters, researchers said this would have implications for other animals, the sea skaters' predators -- which include crabs -- and their food, which is mainly plankton and fish eggs. Jim Leichter / Scripps Institution of Oceanogra
Plastics in Our Oceans All photos (except where noted) courtesy of Paul Joyce, Sea Education Association by Kimberly Amaral Strolling through the average supermarket, shoppers find literally hundreds (if not thousands) of items to make their lives easier. Individually wrapped snack cakes, plastic baggies to store sandwiches for lunch, unbreakable soda bottles, and disposable razors, diapers, and shampoo bottles. Unless specifically requested, even the bags we use to carry home our goods are often plastic. To humans, these are items of comfort, if not necessity. Photo by K. Plastic--whether it be for a container, a wrapper, or the product itself--has become an everyday part of our lives. But when plastic reaches our waters, whether it be plastic bags or drifting fish nets, it poses a threat to the animals that depend on the oceans for food. It can get there from here But how would a syringe that a diabetic uses make it into the ocean? In a more direct route, boaters may dump their trash right into the sea. R.
Ocean Plastics Pollution Plastic never goes away. And it's increasingly finding its way into our oceans and onto our beaches. In the Los Angeles area alone, 10 metric tons of plastic fragments — like grocery bags, straws and soda bottles — are carried into the Pacific Ocean every day. Today billions of pounds of plastic can be found in swirling convergences making up about 40 percent of the world's ocean surfaces. Plastics pollution has a direct and deadly effect on wildlife. It's time to get at the root of this ocean crisis. We need your help to get the EPA to do the right thing. We're surrounded by plastic. In the first decade of this century, we made more plastic than all the plastic in history up to the year 2000. Most ocean pollution starts out on land and is carried by wind and rain to the sea. Due to its low density, plastic waste is readily transported long distances from source areas and concentrates in gyres, systems of rotating ocean currents. Plastic pollution doesn't just hurt marine species.
There's a Horrifying Amount of Plastic in the Ocean. This Chart Shows Who's to Blame. NOAA Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center/AP Marine scientists have long known that plastic pollution in the ocean is a huge problem. The most visible sign of it is the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, an accumulation of waste (actually spanning several distinct patches) floating in the ocean. It's at least twice the size of Texas and can be seen from space. So just how much plastic is there? If we want to crack down on all that plastic, knowing where it all comes from could be as important as knowing how much there is. The last step is to estimate how much of the mismanaged coastal plastic waste actually washes into the sea. The chart below shows the worst offenders, in terms of total plastic pollution in the ocean in 2010, using data from the study. Tim McDonnell That's right: China alone dumped nearly 5 billion pounds of plastic waste into the ocean in 2010.
Recycling The three chasing arrows of the international recycling logo Recycling is the process of converting waste materials into new materials and objects. It is an alternative to "conventional" waste disposal that can save material and help lower greenhouse gas emissions. Recycling is a key component of modern waste reduction and is the third component of the "Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle" waste hierarchy. Thus, recycling aims at environmental sustainability by substituting raw material inputs into and redirecting waste outputs out of the economic system. There are some ISO standards related to recycling such as ISO 15270:2008 for plastics waste and ISO 14001:2004 for environmental management control of recycling practice. Recyclable materials include many kinds of glass, paper, and cardboard, metal, plastic, tires, textiles, and electronics. History Origins Wartime New chemical industries created in the late 19th century both invented new materials (e.g. Legislation
Recycling Basics | Reduce, Reuse, Recycle | US EPA Recycling is the process of collecting and processing materials that would otherwise be thrown away as trash and turning them into new products. Recycling can benefit your community and the environment. Benefits of Recycling Reduces the amount of waste sent to landfills and incinerators Conserves natural resources such as timber, water, and minerals Prevents pollution by reducing the need to collect new raw materials Saves energy Reduces greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to global climate change Helps sustain the environment for future generations Helps create new well-paying jobs in the recycling and manufacturing industries in the United States Steps to Recycling Materials Recycling includes the three steps below, which create a continuous loop, represented by the familiar recycling symbol. Step 1: Collection and Processing There are several methods for collecting recyclables, including curbside collection, drop-off centers, and deposit or refund programs. Top of Page
Our Plastic Ocean The world’s oceans are overflowing with plastic. Every year, around eight millions tons of plastic is unceremoniously dumped into our oceans (Lauren Parker, National Geographic, 2015). Plastic is an everyday part of life on earth, and I challenge you to spend a day where you don’t encounter it. It’s in our face washes and our utensils, we wrap it around the food we eat; and it is now one of the most common pollutants of ocean waters worldwide. Corralled by winds, tides and currents, plastic particles converge with other trash in our oceans to form large swirling accumulation zones or ‘garbage patches’. These zones are known to Oceanographers as gyres, and together, they comprise as much as 40 percent of the planet’s ocean surface — roughly 25 percent of the entire earth. Tackling the removal of these patches is a formidable challenge, the largest of which is located in the Pacific Ocean. To learn more about the Plastic Ocean Project visit: