Yesterday, June 8, 2015 was World Oceans Day, when people around the world celebrated with various events. Since 2008, the 8th of June has been officially recognized as World Oceans Day by the United Nations. This year the theme was ‘Healthy oceans, healthy planet’. We watched a documentary about the Great Pacific Garbage Patch and it was disheartening to see how it affects marine and avian life.
The Great Pacific Garbage Patch (aka Pacific Trash Vortex) is a collection of marine debris/litter in the North Pacific Ocean, which includes waters from the West Coast of North America to Japan. And most of the garbage is plastics. This is the largest trash vortex in the oceans. And there other such smaller garbage patches throughout the world. To put it in very simple terms, the spinning ocean currents in this area create a highway of garbage moving trash from one patch to another. “These areas of spinning debris are linked together by the North Pacific Subtropical Convergence Zone, located a few hundred kilometers north of Hawaii. This convergence zone is where warm water from the South Pacific meets up with cooler water from the Arctic. The zone acts like a highway that moves debris from one patch to another.” (national geographic.com). It forms a huge stew-like mix of mostly plastics, plastics never biodegrade, they are broken down by the elements, mostly the sun, and some of these bits aren’t even visible to the naked eye.
“Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.” – Benjamin Franklin
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