Friday, November 20, 2009

Talking Trash

To put it in simple terms, plastic outweighs surface zooplankton six to one in the North Pacific Gyre. There is more debris and junk out there than you can imagine and it is killing birds, fish and anything that swims near it. Somewhat like the blob, but worse and real! How does all of this happen?

When a plastic cup or container is thrown on the beach it gets caught in the California Current, (for example) which travels down the coast toward Central America, perhaps off the coast of Mexico to connect with the North Equatorial Current, which flows toward Asia. Off the coast of Japan, the Kuroshio Current could push it eastward again, until the North Pacific Current takes over and carries it past Hawaii to the garbage patch. These are currents that make up the North Pacific Gyre - the ultimate garbage vortex.
Capt. Charles Moore of the Algalita Marine Research Foundation first discovered the Great Pacific Garbage Patch - an endless floating waste of plastic trash. Now he is drawing attention to the growing, choking problem of plastic debris in our seas. See his adventures and disaster garbage stories here:

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