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The Mire in the Gyre: Marine Debris and Accumulation
Transcript of The Mire in the Gyre: Marine Debris and Accumulation
Change in current patterns
Decrease in water quality
Marine Debris (Global Garbage, 2012) http://www.350resources.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/pacificwastefragments.jpg Fish in the North Pacific Ocean could be ingesting plastic at a rate of roughly 12,000 to 24,000 tonnes per year http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=tnUjTHB1lvM https://encrypted-tbn1.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcRBHmTVTdhailmM9gfJPsWoHGoq_fhvaiJQbH_3c40aUXXjHORt http://seastories.org/2010/12/pam-longobardi/#
pretty wave picture with trash Captain Charles Moore And the Algalita foundation Ocean Debris Origins Ocean Debris Content Ocean Debris Destiny Japan Tsunami Debris Nurdles What is the Debris? Mostly Plastic- But Why?
polymers do not biodegrade
(only break down to smaller
bits of plastic)
Other materials sink or biodegrade
Gyres Does not break down
Birds and fish eat the plastic
Humans eat the fish
Sea floor Plastic Science Review The Gyres Captain Charles Moore
Founded Algalita foundation in 1994
Discovered the debris in 1997 * on boat Alguita
Calls the vortex a "vast plastic soup"
A media guru
Ted Talk, Good Morning America, The Colbert Report, and more.
Published 2 peer reviewed journal articles and a book.
Non-profit, independent research Institute
Conduct research and collaborative studies
Provide educational materials to schools, media, etc.
Collaborate with other organizations to reduce/eliminate plastic pollution So what is the big deal? How do we fix it?
Can we? Pam Longobardi
Eye of the Ocean (Detail) mire /mī()r/ noun:
1. Wet spongy earth (as of bog or mire)
2. Difficulty - a condition or state of affairs almost beyond one's ability to deal with; requiring great effort to bear or overcome Bibliography Bibliography
5 Gyres Foundation. (2012, September 15). Retrieved from What is the problem?: 5gyres.org
Algalita: Marine Research Institute. (2012, September 13). Retrieved from Algalita.org: www.algalita.org/about-us/history.html
Harvey, F. (2011, May 4). Environment/Fishing. Retrieved from The Guardian: www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2011/may/04/eu-fishermen-catch-plastic
Japan Tsunami Marine Debris. (2012, August 27). Retrieved from NOAA: http://marinedebris.noaa.gov/tsunamidebris/faqs.html
Moore, C. (2001, December 01). A Comparison of Plastic and Plankton in the North Pacific Central Gyre. Marine Pollution Bulletin, 42(12), 1297-1300.
Moore, C. (2008, October). Synthetic polymers in the marine envirionment: A rapidly increasing long-term threat. Environmental Research, 108(2), 11-139.
Parry, J. P. (2005, September 1). Who is Responsible for Marine Debris? The International Politics of Cleaning Our Oceans. Journal of International Affairs, 14.
S. Sheavly, K. R. (2007, October ). Marine Debris & Plastics: Environmental Concerns, Sources, Impacts and Solutions. Journal of Polymers & the Environment, 15(4), 301-305.
Stamper, M. A. (2006, July). Case Study: Morbidity in a Pygmy Sperm Whale. Marine Mammal Science, 22(3), 719-722.
Yukie Mato, T. I. (2001). Plastic Resin Pellets as a Transport Medium for Toxic Chemicals in the Marine Environment. Environmental Science & Technology, 35(2), 318-324. s
Made from petroleum
Comprised of molecules of carbon, hydrogen and oxygen
Chemically bonded together to form
Polystyrene. (Parry, 2005) Plastic:
Accumulates toxins in the marine environment.
Texture determines capacity to accumulate toxins. (Yukie Mato, 2001)
Non-polar polypropylene resin pellets accumulate by hydrophobic sorption
polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs)
PCBs and DDE are
developmental toxicants. (Yukie Mato, 2001) Resin pellets or pre-consumer tubular granules of plastic
Few millimeters in diameter
Raw material for end-user plastic products
Melted and remolded to create consumer goods 10% of the plastic marine debris is pre-production plastic resin pellets (Moore, 2008)
Spilled either directly into the ocean or onto land where they then travel out to sea (Yukie Mato, 2001)
Typical debris found on beaches and in the Pacific Garbage Patch http://sustainableworldradio.files.wordpress.com/2010/07/nurdles-001.jpg (Coultier, 2010) Shipping containers
10,000 shipping containers fall into the ocean yearly
Most sink to the floor - contents escape
Some float for months Gyres are areas of
In the center of large swirling currents
The turning of Earth on it's axis
Debris collects in the gyres http://vimeo.com/8307034 (5 Gyres, 2010) 80% of marine debris comes from terrestrial sources including
storm water discharges and sewer overflows
litter and solid waste disposal and landfills
offshore mineral and oil exploration, industrial activities, and illegal dumping Work as citizen scientist
(5 Gyres trawling video)
Offshore Dumping Laws (NOAA, 2012) 5 million tons of debris into the ocean
70% of the debris likely sank
Leaving 1.5 million tons of debris traveling in the ocean currents. (Japan Tsunami Marine Debris, 2012)
Computer models are used to chart likely paths
Not radioactive The Magnitude 9 Earthquake in March 2011 (NOAA, 2012)
Captain Moore and his foundation
The gyres and the ocean trash vortex
Where the debris comes from
What it is made of
Where it goes
Side note: Tsunami debris tracking
Why is plastic marine debris bad?
What has been done about the vortex?
What will happen if more is not done?
What needs to be done?
Plastic Marine Debris Breathe Why do you care? https://encrypted-tbn1.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcRBHmTVTdhailmM9gfJPsWoHGoq_fhvaiJQbH_3c40aUXXjHORt It Is Everything We Throw Out! So to put it all together Rubbish swirling in a gyre AKA
Pacific Garbage Patch
Floating Island of Debris
http://vimeo.com/8306883#t=3 Legislation - Marpol The basic gist is this;
Humans mishandled refuse is ending up in the oceans where it accumulates in swirling cesspools.
The floating bits break into smaller pieces, accumulate toxins, and are eaten by marine fauna.
Fauna then become ill and/or eaten by humans. Capturing the existing refuse is hopeless and would kill phytoplankton
WE MUST PREVENT MORE TRASH FROM ENTERING THE SEA.
World wide cooperative agreements