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

Dead Zone Off Gulf Coast, As Large As The State Of New Jersey

Dead zones off the coast, are fueled by nutrient runoff from agricultural and other human activities in the Mississippi River watershed, which stimulates an overgrowth of algae that sinks, decomposes and consumes most of the life-giving oxygen supply in bottom waters. These chronic, recurring hypoxic zones every summer represent a significant threat to Gulf coastal ecosystems.

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Oil slick spreads from sunken ship off Mumbai

News, Pollution

Indian authorities worked to clean up an oil spill from a cargo ship that sank off Mumbai last week, with oil found on beaches and in water near the city’s shoreline.

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Wild Boar Deaths linked to Green Algae: Confirmed

News, Pollution

First tests on wild boars washed up on Brittany’s beaches, showed that all but one, had hydrogen sulphide gas (emitted by rotting green algae) in their lungs. Test results on the remaining boars haven’t been released yet.

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US opens ways for Shell drilling in Arctic Ocean

News, Pollution

The US Interior Department has opened the doors to Shell’s proposal for four shallow water exploration wells in Alaska’s Beaufort Sea to start in July 2012.

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Green Algae Chokes Eastern China’s Beaches

News, Pollution

In Qingdoo, Shandong Eastern Province of China, the coastal waters are covered with algae called enteromorpha prolifera. Though this green algae is not poisonous per se, it consumes large amounts of oxygen that can threaten marine life.

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Oil pollution in Niger Delta: Environmental Assessment of Ogoniland Report; Unep

News, Pollution

A report by the UN Environment Programme, which carried out a 14-month assessment of pollution from over 50 years of oil operations in Ogoniland – Niger Delta region, has found widespread and devastating oil pollution that may require the world’s biggest ever clean-up, that could take 20-30 years. The UNEP also called for the oil industry and the Nigerian government to contribute $1 billion to a clean-up fund for the region to properly address this “tragic legacy.”

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The Plastic Bag Wars

News, Pollution

The world consumes 1 million plastic shopping bags every minute, and the industry is fighting hard to keep it that way…

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Caribbean states want end of nuclear waste shipments

The practice of shipping hazardous and nuclear waste through the Caribbean sea is seen as a dangerous environmental gamble, risking the existence of the more than 20 million people, and threatening its coral reefs and ecosystems.

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Forests soak up third of fossil fuel emissions: study

An international team of climate scientists released a study showing the role global forests have played as regulators of the atmosphere. This is the first complete and global evidence of the overwhelming role of forests in removing anthropogenic carbon dioxide.

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Recent / Pollution

Ten Things Kids Want Us to Know About Trash on Beaches and Oceans

October 12th, 2010

Fourth-graders in New York City conducted cleanups at a local beach and tallied every item they found on Ocean Conservancy’s data card, an experience shared by hundreds of thousands of people around the world every year during Ocean Conservancy’s International Coastal Cleanup.

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Experiencing an International Coastal Clean-up Day

September 25th, 2010

Inspiration is often truly found in the most subtle and inconspicuous ways…

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Italy Bans the Plastic Water Bottle Along Heritage Coastline

September 24th, 2010

The worst month is August, when an average of 400,000 plastic bottles are discarded along the narrow strip of picturesque World Heritage coast, which lies south of Genoa in the province of Liguria.

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European Coastal Nations to Create Marine Protected Areas and Review Offshore Drilling

September 24th, 2010

European coastal nations agreed today in Oslo, to review rules for offshore drilling – but each country should decide individually – and to create six protected marine areas in the northeast Atlantic.

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Dirty secrets at Britain’s Blue-Flagged Beaches

September 21st, 2010

At least one in four of Britain’s premier bathing beaches are failing to meet the strict requirements of their “Blue Flag” designation, an international standard that is only granted if beach operators meet more than 30 strict criteria.

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Revealed: Our Contaminated Beaches, Scotland

September 21st, 2010

As Fraserburgh, Scotland, is getting ready for its UK Surf contest- expected to be “epic” due to Igor aftermath’s swell on European coasts- reports found sewage pollution has not spared many popular scottish beaches.

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7 Ways to Kick the Plastic Habits

September 17th, 2010

One real culprit of our oil addiction is plastic, and most of it ends up on our coasts, beaches and oceans.

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Ending the Oceans’ ‘Tragedy of the Commons’

September 14th, 2010

Leading international marine scientists are proposing radical changes in the governance of the world’s oceans to rescue them from overfishing, pollution and other human impacts.

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Expanding Hypoxic Areas in Coastal Waters

September 14th, 2010

Unnatural levels of hypoxia, which occur mostly in the summer, are primarily the result of human activities that deliver nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorous into waterways.

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Annual International Coastal Cleanup Day, 2010

September 12th, 2010

Sign up for the 25th Annual International Coastal Cleanup Day: September 25th, 2010. Be part of the solution to marine and coastal pollution!

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