Plastics Contaminating Lakes, GloballyLast Updated on 2013-10-18 21:57:37
Toxic plastic pollution is filling up the Great Lakes, the European lakes and even the subalpine lakes in Europe's famed Alps. This insidious byproduct of petroleum has infiltrated marine food webs and humans are indeed in harms way.
It wasn't until World War II that polyethylene (plastic single-use disposable bags, dispensable bottles), propylene (bottle caps, fishing gear) and polystyrene (take-away food containers) were invented, and by the late 1960s being mass-produced. By 1979, the production of plastics in the U.S. eclipsed that of steel. Today, globally, humans produce 280 million metric tons of plastic annually.
Plastics are long chains of monomer hydrocarbon molecules, and one of the principle ingredients of all plastics is crude oil. How much? Four percent of the entire world supply, or about 3.4 million barrels of oil, are used to make them each day.
Earth's... More »
Coastal cleanup yields more than 10M pounds of trashLast Updated on 2013-05-14 00:00:00
"Trash doesn't start and stop at the trash can, and out of sight doesn't mean out of our ocean," Mallos says. "From product creation to disposal, we must tackle trash at every point."
Consumers can use reusable items, industries can reinvent materials in their manufacturing processes, and governments can implement policies that ensure trash is captured before entering the ocean, he explains.
Ninety-seven countries or locations participated in the 2012 cleanup. The 10 countries that yielded the most trash (in order): USA, the Philippines, Canada, Hong Kong, Dominican Republic, Mexico, India, Peru, Ecuador and Puerto Rico. The USA yielded about 3.6 million pounds of trash.
At most of the cleanups, weight of debris was measured either on site with scales or via waste-hauling services that reported the weight of the load after it had been hauled... More »
Top 5 Ocean Priorities for the New Secretary of StateLast Updated on 2013-03-29 00:00:00
When President Barack Obama convenes his cabinet in the White House’s Roosevelt Room, one might be left with the impression that defenders of our oceans are rather pointedly underrepresented. The Department of Commerce, which oversees the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, or NOAA, has lacked a secretary since John Bryson resigned last summer. Former Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta probably pulled double duty as Aquaman in the president’s Hall of Justice; prior to his service in the Obama administration, Secretary Panetta served as a congressman from Monterrey, California, and as head of the Pew Oceans Commission. But now he, too, has left the building, with a shout-out to his trusty sidekick, his dog Bravo.
President Obama is seeking to fill the open seat at Commerce, and to replace Jane Lubchenco, who stepped down last month as NOAA’s... More »
Oceans: Environmental victim or savior?Last Updated on 2013-03-27 00:00:00
"I believe it's time to recapture the sense of wonder and inspiration my grandfather and father felt when they gazed on (the ocean's) surface," says Philippe Cousteau.
Cousteau is urging people to take a step back and ponder what a healthy ocean provides: half the world's oxygen, protein for an estimated one billion people as well as regulating our climate.
In Going Green: Oceans, Philippe Cousteau (pictured) joins the Catlin Seaview Survey team as they map the Great Barrier Reef. Watch on Friday March 29 at 15:30 GMT (11:30 ET).
Join Cousteau for a Twitter chat immediately after the show. Post your questions to the CNN Special Correspondent here... More »
New Garbage Patch Discovered in the South Pacific GyreLast Updated on 2013-01-18 00:00:00
Plastic pollution isn’t just a North Pacific phenomenon, but rather a global problem with global implications for fisheries, tourism, marine ecosystems and human health.
Scientists from The 5 Gyres Institute have discovered the first evidence of a “garbage patch,” an accumulation zone of plastic pollution floating in the South Pacific subtropical gyre. The new study, published in the journal Marine Pollution Bulletin marks the first documentation of a defined oceanic garbage patch in the Southern Hemisphere, where little research on marine plastic pollution exists.
In March and April 2011, a team of scientists and interested citizens lead by 5 Gyres Institute Executive Director, Dr. Marcus Eriksen, conducted the first ever sampling of the South Pacific Subtropical Gyre for marine plastic pollution. The... More »
Drag and drop the content to change the order of featured content. The top nine will be displayed.