Altered Oceans: the Crisis at Sea
Posted on August 19, 2006 Comments (5)
Extensive LA Times series on Altered Oceans: the Crisis at Sea by Kenneth R. Weiss and Usha Lee McFarling. Excellent.
Part 1 (of 5): A Primeval Tide of Toxins “Runoff from modern life is feeding an explosion of primitive organisms. This ‘rise of slime,’ as one scientist calls it, is killing larger species and sickening people”
Part 4: Plague of Plastic Chokes the Seas:
This is known as the Eastern Garbage Patch, part of a system of currents called the North Pacific subtropical gyre. Located halfway between San Francisco and Hawaii, the garbage patch is an area of slack winds and sluggish currents where flotsam collects from around the Pacific
Nearly 90% of floating marine litter is plastic — supple, durable materials such as polyethylene and polypropylene, Styrofoam, nylon and saran.
About four-fifths of marine trash comes from land, swept by wind or washed by rain off highways and city streets, down streams and rivers, and out to sea.
I have been unable to find a decent photo of this garbage patch – please post a comment if you know of one.