Pacific Garbage Patch
massive glob of plastic is swirling around in the Pacific Ocean.
west of California and north of Hawaii, the "Great Pacific
Garbage Patch" is an ugly stew of plastic and marine debris
larger than Texas and sometimes reaching a depth of 300 feet.
It collects in this area due to the clockwise trade winds circulating
along the Pacific Rim. The main ingredients? Plastic bottles,
plastic bags and plastic manufacturers' discarded waste.
How did it
get there? Consider this: Someone tosses a plastic water bottle
on the ground. During the next rain it flows into a storm drain,
makes its way to the ocean, and in a few weeks reaches the Garbage
Patch. While it was floating along, instead of biodegrading it
"photodegraded." The sun's UV rays made it brittle,
eventually breaking it down into tiny pieces which join the other
plastics of the "island," interspersed with large pieces
of junk like discarded fishing nets and waterlogged tires..
cleanup operation has so far evaded experts. It is simply too
big and too far.
Why do we care?
Because it is choking, starving and sickening birds, turtles,
fish and other animals; reducing many ocean species' populations
and overall diversity; getting caught in boat engines and propellers;
and spoiling the natural beauty of our oceans.
What can we
*Reduce use of plastics whenever possible.
*Use a reusable bag when you shop.
*Take your trash with you when you leave the beach, park, etc.
*Make sure your trash containers are securely closed.
*Recycle, recycle, recycle
that's part of the solution is the Chatham High School Recycling
Club. Thanks to them for their recent hospitality and their fine
work recycling plastic bottles!***
© 2007 by Bob Staake - All Rights Reserved