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
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
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
Environmentalists and scientists say Rio’s waters are much more contaminated than previously thought.
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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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Officials say at least 1.5 million gallons of sewage spewed from a 90-year-old pipe that burst in an industrial area near downtown Los Angeles, leading beaches to close 20 miles downriver in Long Beach.
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This was the main finding of a study on the influence of ship engine emissions on macrophages in the lungs. Since macrophages also play a key role in lung diseases such as COPD, the study is important for understanding the health risks of ship exhausts.
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A community arts collaboration between the Town of Nags Head, NC and High School students the OBCan project, is in its sixth year. New galvanized steel trash cans festooned with the students’ creative artwork are being placed at several public beach accesses along 11 miles of oceanfront. Vibrantly-colored designs draw beach with the expectation that trash will more likely find its way into the containers if they are eye-catching.
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New 3-D modeling technology has the power to scan coastlines for garbage much faster than humans can.
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Researchers have found that 60 percent of post-hatchling loggerhead turtles stranded on southern Cape beaches in South Africa have been impacted by growing quantities of human-caused debris such as plastic fragments, packaging and fibers.
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A deluge of garbage is overwhelming Hong Kong beaches. In what some refer to as a trash ‘tsunami,’ Hong Kong beaches have seen an estimated six to 10 times the usual amount of trash recently. And most of that garbage is plastic that won’t easily decompose.
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Photographer Vilde Rolfsen thinks political art is more important than ever. Vilde Rolfsen’s photos ― which resemble aerial shots of mountain ranges ― aren’t showing nature at all. Just the opposite: Her series “Plastic Bag Landscapes” catalogs waste that she found in the street.
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