Plastic Pollution

Photo: Manan Vastsyayana Photo: Manan Vastsyayana

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

By Claire Le Guern

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

Stop The Trump Administration’s Offshore Drilling Assault: A NRDC Petition

The Trump administration has released a disastrous proposal to auction off huge swaths of America’s oceans for oil and gas drilling — endangering our marine life and coastal communities with the risk of catastrophic oil spills, and threatening coastal jobs and economies.

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Becker well capped—a century later

News, Pollution
Feb
28

Summerland Beach was a scene of great joy earlier this week, as the barge from Curtin Maritime, Long Beach, arrived to the coastline and positioned itself to lower the construction equipment to cap the infamous leaking Becker Well.

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Mangroves free of 500 tonne of plastic

Nearly 500 tonne of plastic waste was removed from eight mangrove sites across Mumbai and suburban areas over the last two months. On an average, 70-80 tonne of plastic is removed every week, and 10-15 tonne every day.

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Plastic straw makers brace for bans

News, Pollution
Feb
23

Plastic straw manufacturers are bracing for big changes. The tide is turning against their product. Cities and countries around the world are stepping up pressure on businesses and consumers to ditch the plastic drink accessory because of the pollution it causes.

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Work to clean up leaking oil off Summerland starts Monday, CA

News, Pollution
Feb
22

After years of community pressure, one of the big polluting wells off the Summerlamd coast in California, will be capped in a project that starts next week.

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Industry is leaking huge amounts of microplastics, Swedish study shows

News, Pollution
Feb
20

Millions of plastic pellets are leaking out into the environment from a manufacturing site in Stenungsund, according to a new Swedish study. Despite several international and national sets of regulatory frameworks, the leaking continues.

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Container ships use super-dirty fuel. That needs to change

About 90 percent of everything we buy will travel on ships like these at some point. And all of these behemoths burn fossil fuel, contributing significantly to the warming atmosphere and shifting climate patterns.

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High levels of microplastics found in Northwest Atlantic fish

News, Pollution
Feb
18

A new study finds 73 percent of mesopelagic fish caught in the Northwest Atlantic had microplastics in their stomachs, one of the highest levels globally. These fish could spread microplastic pollution throughout the marine ecosystem, by carrying microplastics from the surface down to deeper waters. They are also prey for fish eaten by humans, meaning that microplastics could indirectly contaminate our food supply.

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The Ship Breakers

After their useful life is over, more than 90 percent of the world’s ocean-going container ships end up on the shores of India, Pakistan, Indonesia, or Bangladesh, where labor is cheap, demand for steel is high, and environmental regulations are lax.

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Recent / Pollution

Microplastics pollute most remote and uncharted areas of the ocean

February 12th, 2018

First data ever gathered from extremely remote area of the South Indian Ocean has a surprisingly high volume of plastic particles, say scientists. Currently scientists can only account for 1% of the plastic they think is in the ocean.

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Plastic waste ‘building up’ in Arctic

February 10th, 2018

Plastic waste is building up in the supposedly pristine wilderness of the Norwegian Arctic, scientists say.

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Federal penalties against polluters at lowest level in a decade under Trump

cruise-ships

February 9th, 2018

Figures released by the EPA show that 115 crime cases were opened in 2017, down from a peak of nearly 400 in 2009.

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Trucking Mud to the Beaches Means More Sand but Dirtier Waters, CA

February 9th, 2018

When Santa Barbara County dumps tons of mud from the catastrophic debris flow of January 9 on the shores of Goleta and Carpinteria, this wasn’t like anything that’s happened before. So residents are asking, “Will there be long-term effects? Might there be other locations that can share the impacts..?”

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Can the World Find Solutions to the Nitrogen Pollution Crisis?

February 6th, 2018

More and more nitrogen keeps pouring into waterways, unleashing algal blooms and creating dead zones. To prevent the problem from worsening, scientists warn, the world must drastically cut back on synthetic fertilizers and double the efficiency of the nitrogen used on farms.

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Whale and shark species at increasing risk from microplastic pollution – study

February 5th, 2018

Whales, some sharks and other marine species such as rays are increasingly at risk from microplastics in the oceans, a new study published in the journal Trends in Ecology and Evolution, suggests.

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10 threatened U.S. coastlines

February 4th, 2018

America’s 95,000 miles of coastlines are among the most scenic on the planet, from sandy white beaches to lush marshes to rocky cliffs. And yet, our coasts remain threatened. Coastal habitats can be destroyed by development, overfishing, pollution and even the dredging of sea canals.

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“We have one ocean,” Josh Stein says, threatening offshore drilling legal action

February 2nd, 2018

North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein has assembled a coalition of attorneys general from 11 other coastal states calling for the U.S. Interior Department to cancel the Trump administration’s plan to expand offshore drilling.

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Plastic in the Oceans Increasing Risk of Disease in Coral Reefs

January 27th, 2018

More than 11 billion pieces of plastic are lodged within coral reefs in the Asia-Pacific region. According to a new study published in the journal Science, as this plastic gets tangled, it often cuts the coral, increasing the risk of infection and disease outbreaks by as much 89 percent.

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U.S. EPA reverses policy on ‘major sources’ of pollution

January 27th, 2018

The EPA is withdrawing a provision of the Clean Air Act that requires a major source of pollution like a power plant to always be treated as a major source, even if it makes changes to reduce emissions.

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