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

The Mediterranean and Climate Change’s Impacts

One of the most serious threats to life in the Mediterranean region, and indeed every part of the global ocean, is climate change. Climate change is already having an impact on the marine environment and this is likely to escalate swiftly, increasing seawater temperatures and coastal erosion, altering salinity and currents and causing serious declines in biodiversity.

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2011 Ashden Awards international finalists, in pictures

Eight sustainable energy pioneers from Africa and Asia have been selected as international finalists for the prestigious Ashden Awards for sustainable energy 2011.

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Climate change: How do we know?

The current warming trend is of particular significance because most of it is very likely human-induced and proceeding at a rate that is unprecedented in the past 1,300 years. In the meantime, the fate of the only international agreement that sets binding targets for curbing greenhouse gases is hanging by a thread…

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Major flooding on the Mississippi River to cause large Gulf of Mexico dead zone

News, Pollution

Scientists are predicting the hypoxic zone could measure between 8,500 and 9,421 square miles, or an area roughly the size of New Hampshire.

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City Pavement Affects Weather and Foster Build-up of Polluted Air

News, Pollution

Urban development is exacerbating air pollution in coastal regions, new research says. The study, led by researchers at the U.S. National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), found that the sprawl of strip malls and other paved areas can affect weather patterns, trapping pollutants and hurting air quality during the summer months.

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“100 percent trash boat” sets sail in Taiwan

News, Pollution

“ForEver” a boat built completely from plastic bottles and other recycled materials, including old advertising banners, set sail in Taiwan to raise awareness about the marine environment. As Canadian province of Manitoba bans plastic water bottles from its offices.

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EPA Concerns to Proposed Oil Pipeline From Canada to Gulf Coast

News, Pollution

The Environmental Protection Agency has raised concerns about a proposed pipeline that would carry oil from western Canada to the Texas Gulf Coast.

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South West Marine Debris Cleanup

The South West Marine Debris Cleanup is an annual trip orchestrated by Environmental Scientist Matt Dell to the remote wilderness of Tasmania, where tonnes of rubbish can be found on the beaches of this pristine and isolated environment.This is his story. A video by Johnny Abegg.

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Being Part Of The Solution: Marine Debris Tracker

News, Pollution

A new app lets anyone with an iPhone or Smartphone to report trash on beaches and waterways, and help scientists too. Indeed, with plastic bags, cans, abandoned or lost fishing gear and other marine debris washing up on our shores each year, the app could help combat the global marine debris problem, according to NOAA.

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Recent / Pollution

Midway Atoll, Northwestern End Of The Hawaiian Archipelago; By Chris Jordan

Chris Jordan Photography

August 1st, 2010

Message from the Gyre is an image by Chris Jordan, from the Midway Series.

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China alleges: ocean cleared of oil 10 days after spill

July 30th, 2010

But beaches along Dalian’s long shoreline remain closed indefinitely, with oil covering rocks and pebbles on the sand.

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Plastiki: a journey from plastic trash to triumph

July 26th, 2010

Sailboat made using 12,500 recycled plastic bottles reaches Sydney, Australia, after four-month voyage to highlight recycling and marine plastic pollution.

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Exploring Algae as Fuel

July 26th, 2010

Many academic laboratories, are pursuing the same goal, to produce algae as a source of, literally, green energy.

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Plastiki reaches Australia

July 23rd, 2010

The boat made from recycled plastic bottles reaches Australia. Aim of voyage is to raise awareness of plastic waste and reduce plastic pollution.

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The Second Life of Green Algae

July 21st, 2010

Harmful when covering the beaches, green algae can be valued.

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Forging a Coherent Oceans Policy

July 19th, 2010

White House plans better use of oceans and zoning human uses of coastal seas.

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Stunningly High Levels of Toxins Found in Whales

June 27th, 2010

The entire ocean life is loaded with a series of contaminants, most of which have been released by human beings.

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France’s continued fight against toxic algae

June 19th, 2010

The green algae are back on the front of the stage. Beyond their potential danger it is, this time, the costs of collection and treatment that are implicated.

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Coastal Devastation We Don’t Hear About

June 17th, 2010

Perhaps no place on earth has been as battered by oil spills as the Niger Delta, which has endured the equivalent of the Exxon Valdez spill every year for 50 years by some estimates.

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