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

Aquatic Olympians Face a Toxic Stew in Rio

Inform, Pollution

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?

Inform, Pollution

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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1.5 million gallons sewage spill shuts down beaches 20 miles away, Los Angeles

News, Pollution

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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Ship engine emissions adversely affect the health of inhabitants of coastal regions

News, Pollution

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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Young artists get creative to help keep beaches clean

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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How Lasers Can Help Clean Up Beach Trash

News, Pollution

New 3-D modeling technology has the power to scan coastlines for garbage much faster than humans can.

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60% of Loggerhead Turtles Stranded on Beaches in South Africa Had Ingested Plastic

News, Pollution

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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Plastic ‘tsunami’ trashes Hong Kong beaches

News, Pollution

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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Stunning Plastic Bag Landscapes Will Make You Think Twice About Tossing Your Trash

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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Recent / Pollution

Toxic Algal Blooms Aren’t Just Florida’s Problem. And They’re On The Rise.

July 8th, 2016

Pollution from agriculture and climate change is closing beaches and contributing to dead zones across the country.

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Super bacteria’ discovered in Rio’s waters

July 5th, 2016

A group of Brazilian scientists have detected a drug-resistant bacteria growing off of some of Rio de Janeiro’s most stunning beaches.

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Toxic algae bloom blankets Florida beaches, prompts state of emergency; Florida

July 2nd, 2016

Gov. Rick Scott, declared a state of emergency midweek in Martin, St. Lucie, Lee and Palm Beach counties because of the toxic algae bloom that originated in Lake Okeechobee and spread to the beaches.

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France bans plastic bags, what about the rest of the EU?

July 2nd, 2016

Plastic bags will be banned in France from July 1. The ban on plastic bags will come into effect in two stages: on July 1, 2016 for “lightweight” shopping bags and January 1, 2017 for packaging bags for fruit and vegetables.

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Day at the beach leaves Texas man with flesh-eating bacteria

June 27th, 2016

Vibrio bacteria live naturally in certain coastal waters and are present in higher concentrations between May and October when water temperatures are warmer. When ingested, it can lead to an illness in humans called fibrosis.

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An expanded Panama Canal opens for giant ships

June 26th, 2016

A mammoth ship bearing 9,472 containers, on Sunday will become the first vessel to officially pass through the new expanded Panama Canal, a $5.25 billion project designed to modernize a 102-year-old landmark. Others worry about the ability of the nearly 300 canal pilots to safely guide the new giant ships through the snug locks and channels.

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Boyan Slat’s Ocean Cleanup Project Launches Historic First Prototype at Sea

June 23rd, 2016

Boyan Slat’s ambitious plan to rid the world’s oceans of plastic has taken another step towards reality with its first prototype to be tested at sea. The Ocean Cleanup Foundation, founded by the 21-year-old Slat, has deployed a 100-meter clean-up boom today in the North Sea in The Netherlands.

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Could Seismic Tests Harm Fish?

June 18th, 2016

Eight companies are currently seeking to conduct seismic surveys in areas off the southern Atlantic coast between Delaware and Florida to look for oil and natural gas resources.

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Climate scientists urge Obama to rule out more Arctic oil and gas exploration

June 16th, 2016

In a letter being delivered to the White House on Thursday, nearly 400 international scientists called on President Obama to rule out further expansion of oil and gas exploration in Arctic waters under US control.

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Miami-Dade County Bans Styrofoam From Parks, Beaches

June 14th, 2016

Under a new ordinance passed, all Miami-Dade County parks, beaches, marinas, trails and playing fields will ban Styrofoam coolers, cups, plates and to-go containers starting next summer.

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