The Great Pacific Garbage Patch

September 11, 2009 at 6:12 am | Posted in Nature, Perspective | Comments Off on The Great Pacific Garbage Patch
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An incredibly large garbage dump has formed in the northern Pacific Ocean at what is called the North Pacific Subtropical Gyre, a clockwise movement of ocean currents created by a high-pressure system of air currents. Millions of pounds of trash, most of it plastic, floats around and around, forming perhaps the largest dump in the world, estimated to total 100 million tons of human-made and human-disposed trash.

Actually, there are two separate but connected trash dumps known as the Western and Eastern Pacific Garbage Patches, sometimes collectively called the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. The Eastern Garbage Patch, estimated to be twice the size of Texas, floats between Hawaii and California. The Western Garbage Patch is found east of Japan and west of Hawaii. Each swirling mass of refuse is massive and collects trash from all over the world. The patches are connected by a thin 6,000-mile long current called the Subtropical Convergence Zone, which also has large amounts of trash within it. 

Plastic makes up most of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, which is understandable when one considers that plastic makes up some 90% of all floating trash in the world’s oceans. In some areas, the amount of plastic outweighs the amount of plankton in the oceans by a ratio of six to one. About 10% of the world’s plastic production ends up in the oceans, with the majority of it sinking to the ocean floor, and some making it to coastal beaches. And, as we all know by now, plastic does not biodegrade, but it does photodegrade. This means that a piece of plastic willl be broken apart into many smaller pieces, which will remain in the ocean for years, each one breaking down into smaller pieces. These small bits of plastic end up inside marine life and birds, resulting in death and injury to thousands each year.

To learn more about this huge problem and what is being done about it, visit:

 http://www.oceanfutures.org/of_blog.asp

http://sio.ucsd.edu/Expeditions/Seaplex/

http://www.projectkaisei.org/

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Marine Life Series

April 9, 2009 at 11:48 am | Posted in Forthcoming Books | Comments Off on Marine Life Series
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Our “Marine Life Series” of nonfiction books is in production now, with three books underway. Sea Turtles at Risk , scheduled for a June 1, 2009 release, will examine the natural and human threats to loggerheads, greens, leatherbacks, Kemp’s ridleys, and hawksbills. Emphasis will focus on the role citizen volunteers play in helping to protect and preserve sea turtles, with special attention on the Volusia-Flagler Turtle Patrol in Florida.

The next two titles in the “Marine Life Series” will focus on North Atlantic right whales (Eubalaena glacialis) and bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus), again with examination of volunteer efforts for both species.

Subsequent books in the Series will feature sharks, rays, manatees, jellyfish, crustaceans and other sea creatures, all presented with color photographs and in understandable and vivid terms suitable for both adult and young adult readers.

Our expectation is that our “Marine Life Series” will become the foundation for all those who seek a clear understanding of the oceans,  the roles played by all species, and the importance of their protection for the future.

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