Plastic Pollution

Photo: Manan Vastsyayana Photo: Manan Vastsyayana

Unprecedented Plastic Pollution
When The Mermaids Cry: The Great Plastic Tide

By Claire Le Guern Lytle

The world population is living, working, vacationing, increasingly conglomerating along the coasts, and standing on the front row of the greatest, most unprecedented, plastic waste tide ever faced.

Washed out on our coasts in obvious and clearly visible form, the plastic debris spectacle blatantly unveiling on our beaches is only the prelude of the greater story that unfolded further away in the the world's oceans, yet mostly originating from where we stand: the land.

In 2008, our global plastic consumption worldwide has been estimated at 260 million tons. Plastic is versatile, lightweight, flexible, moisture resistant, strong, and relatively inexpensive. Those are the attractive qualities that lead us, around the world, to such a voracious appetite and over-consumption of plastic goods. However, durable and very slow to degrade, plastic materials that are used in the production of so many products all, ultimately, become waste with staying power. Our tremendous attraction to plastic, coupled with an undeniable behavioral propensity of increasingly over-consuming, discarding, littering and thus polluting, has become a combination of lethal nature. Read More

Oil Pollution

Treasure Island, Florida

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Oil spills on the worlds beaches and in the worlds oceans

By Linda Pilkey-Jarvis

Beaches and river shorelines all over the world are at risk from oil spills. Spills are most likely to occur while oil is transported or transferred between oil tankers, barges, pipelines, refineries, and distribution or storage facilities. Spills may also occur during natural disasters (such as hurricanes), or through deliberate acts by countries at war, sunken ships, vandals, or illegal dumpers. Read More

Trash Pollution

Ocean Pollution... and Ocean Polluters

By Bekah Barlow

Did you know that it's legal to dump trash in the ocean? Yes, there are limitations for what you can and cannot dump. But it is perfectly acceptable to dump your raw sewage, paper, rags, glass, metal, bottles, or similar refuse, as long as you are at least 12 miles away from the nearest shoreline. It is not permissible to dump plastics anywhere. Read More

Surfing in / Pollution

Loving the Ocean Starts at Home

Individuals really can make a huge difference. With an estimated 80% of ocean pollution starting on land the best way to beat marine pollution is by preventing it from ever reaching the sea.

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World Bank: Air pollution deaths costing global economy $225bn a year

News, Pollution

Premature deaths caused by poor air quality cost the global economy around $225bn in lost labour income during 2013, according to a major new economic study published today by the World Bank and the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME).

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Nutrient pollution is changing sounds in the sea

News, Pollution

Nutrient pollution emptying into seas from cities, towns and agricultural land is changing the sounds made by marine life — and potentially upsetting navigational cues for fish and other sea creatures, a new study has found.

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Labor Day beach cleanup yields 355 pounds of garbage from beaches along California’s Central Coast

News, Pollution

Volunteers also saw a surprising shift from past cleanup efforts. Beaches that are typically considered party spots seemed tamer and tidier than usual. Beaches that are lesser known and more secluded, in contrast, were overrun with trash.

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Sargassum Watch Warns of Incoming Seaweed

Sargassum beaching events in the Caribbean, West Africa, and other regions have received wide media attention, prompting action by regional governmental agencies and environmental groups seeking to understand this new phenomenon.

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Fish for dinner? Your seafood might come with a side of plastic

News, Pollution

Fish are “stuffing themselves” on plastic, but scientists are still trying to figure out what effect that might have on those of us who eat seafood.

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Global Congress Endorses Protection of Bristol Bay, Condemns Pebble Mine

News, Pollution

Native Alaskans, fishermen, conservationists and coalition partners today successfully took their battle against the proposed Pebble Mine to the World Conservation Congress in Hawaii, securing overwhelming approval of a motion urging protection of Bristol Bay from the proposed Pebble Mine and other large-scale mining.

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The Anthropocene epoch: scientists declare dawn of human-influenced age

Experts say human impact on Earth so profound that Holocene must give way to epoch defined by the radioactive elements dispersed across the planet by nuclear bomb tests, although an array of other signals, including plastic pollution, soot from power stations, concrete were now under consideration.

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As summer draws to a close, Israel beaches’ still plagued by garbage

News, Pollution

Only 47.4 percent of Israel’s beaches were deemed “clean” to “very clean” in the latest Clean Coast Index, a collection of measurements issued periodically by the Environmental Protection Ministry during the summer months.

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Recent / Pollution

Cape Town beach pollution fears; South Africa

August 25th, 2016

Kayakers paddling around Three Anchor Bay, Cape Town, have been alarmed at the amount of pollution flowing out of three stormwater drains into the sea, and have taken samples to try to identify what it is.

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Want real-time beach pollution data? There’s an app for that

August 25th, 2016

Heal the Bay has upgraded its Beach Report Card website and app to include, for the first time, real-time pollution predictions in the surf zones at five Southern California beaches.

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Vietnamese beaches hit by worst toxic chemical spill have been deemed safe for swimming

August 23rd, 2016

The government seems to be flailing in its attempt to convince people that the beaches along Vietnam’s central coast are recovering from a devastating toxic chemical spill, that killed an estimated 115 tons of fish off the central coast.

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Tanzania: Total Plastics Use Ban Plan By Next January Remains

August 21st, 2016

The government has reiterated that it won’t back down on its decision to ban the use of plastic bags effective January next year.

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Cubans bemoan trashing of island’s beaches

August 21st, 2016

Litter is a problem virtually everywhere in the world. But the trashing of Cuba’s world-class beaches by beachgoers has become so extreme, that tourists are complaining and Cubans bemoan it as a symptom of something amiss in a nation that’s long cherished cleanliness, order and mutual respect.

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Authorities investigate source of 30km oil spill in Darwin harbor, Australia

August 21st, 2016

Environmentalists says the spill could be devastating for the harbour’s mangrove and marine ecosystems and those responsible needed to be found.

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Study maps hidden water pollution in U.S. coastal areas

August 19th, 2016

Researchers have uncovered previously hidden sources of ocean pollution along more than 20 percent of America’s coastlines.

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Plastic ‘continents’: Is there a way out?

August 1st, 2016

Plastic “continents” are not static. Based on the oceanic circulation modelling work conducted in the Pacific, researchers have recently shown that there are exit currents for these areas of the sea where these piles of waste build up.

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Aquatic Olympians Face a Toxic Stew in Rio

July 30th, 2016

Environmentalists and scientists say Rio’s waters are much more contaminated than previously thought.

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Slimy Green Beaches May Be Florida’s New Normal?

July 28th, 2016

The green slime that washed onto Florida beaches earlier this month marks the eighth time since 2004 that toxic algae have fouled the Sunshine State’s storied coastline. The guacamole-thick algae that fouled both coasts will likely be a regular occurrence for the Sunshine State. Here’s why.

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