Friday, July 11, 2008

Ocean Garbage Dump

Ever heard about the huge garbage dump in the middle of the Pacific? I heard about it on the radio one time a few years ago. And now Discover Magazine has a very interesting, and at times scary, article on the subject. A number of strong currents all come together at this area of the Pacific Ocean and create a "circular" effect where the garbage hangs out and destroys our environment.
“In the central North Pacific Gyre, pieces of plastic outweigh surface zooplankton by a factor of 6 to 1,” according to a report based on Moore’s research. “Ninety percent of Laysan albatross chick carcasses and regurgitated stomach contents contain plastics. Fish and seabirds mistake plastic for food. Plastic debris releases chemical additives and plasticizers into the ocean. Plastic also adsorbs hydrophobic pollutants like PCBs and pesticides like DDT. These pollutants bioaccumulate in the tissues of marine organisms, biomagnify up the food chain, and find their way into the foods we eat.”

So this is where all of those old paper copies of discover magazine my mom throws away, and the 40 billion plastic, "disposable," bottles of water, end up.

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