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Tag archives for plastic pollution

What’s up with microbeads? An update on a tiny terror wreaking havoc in our waterways

Co-authored by Erica Cirino In March, I wrote about a new study with a scary conclusion: Experts estimate there are more than 165 million plastic pieces in the New York-New Jersey Harbor Estuary, a region where fresh river water meets seawater close to shore. Many of those plastic pieces are exceedingly small in size—called, “mircoplastics,”…

Plastic: The big breakup

Co-authored by Erica Cirino My dog Foosa and I step onto the beach, and in the first few steps I find—as usual—something made of plastic. This beach is strewn with everything from fiberglass buoys to crumbling Styrofoam cups to poorly disposed “disposable” lighters to plastic bags (use once, throw away, except that “away” is here).…

Plastic pollution plagues NY-NJ waterways—and it’s all our fault.

Co-authored by Erica Cirino Whenever I visit my favorite beaches on Long Island’s North Shore, I look for sea glass. There’s just something about these wave-worn gems—blues, greens, browns, whites and one or two bits of rare yellow glass—that invites me to pick them up. Lately though, I’ve been duped by small pieces of plastic…

Running Across Iceland

Ultra runner Pavel Cenkl explores Iceland’s magnificent coasts and highlands—and the idea that all parts of the planet’s ecological system are interwoven.

Plastics in seabirds: A pervasive and growing problem that requires global action

You have likely seen the pictures of albatross chicks choking on plastics. These images are tough to look at and the death these birds suffer from ingesting plastics is gruesome and painful. Albatross consume a whole range of plastics that float in the ocean, from cigarette lighters, to toothbrushes to shards of plastics from a…

Ocean Education – Let the Games Begin

Co-authored by Stephanie Roach, Waitt Institute Program Manager The Waitt Institute team is made up of people who spent their childhoods playing at the beach, swimming in the calm turquoise Caribbean Sea, and learning about the amazing, diverse creatures that live beneath the surface. Each of us fell in love with the ocean at a young…

Have Some Eco-Heroism With Your Climbing Adventure

Individually, my small water samples won’t clean up the oceans. But pitching in and raising awareness can spread just as quickly and widely as the microplastics we’re trying to understand.

R4WO Invited To The United Nations To Discuss Marine Plastic Pollution

The R4WO had a lot on its plate in the Big Apple in order to keep on passing the message about the urgency to act for our oceans. Litter is found in all the world’s oceans and seas and concerns are growing about impacts of marine litter on ecosystem health, biodiversity and human health. For this reason,…

The Azores: First Witness to Global Marine Plastic Pollution

Having left Bordeaux on March 15, the Race for Water Odyssey arrived in the Azores on Friday afternoon, the location of the expedition’s first scientific analyses. It is estimated that 80% of pollution in the ocean is plastic. This debris has devastating effects on marine ecosystems and, as a consequence, on human beings. Entanglement, lacerations,…

100 Trans-Atlantic Sailors Rally for Science

A huge fleet of ships studies the plastic content of the ocean in the Atlantic Rally for Cruisers.

Lewis Pugh Swims the Seven Seas

Lewis Pugh was recovering at home in South Africa when I spoke with him by phone. Just four days earlier he had finished a monumental swimming challenge, completing seven long-distance swims in under a month. He quietly said “It was much harder than I thought”, which was a surprising admission from this world-renowned endurance swimmer.…

“Academy Awards of the Sea” Returns for 7th Year

By David Helvarg What do a former Secretary of Defense, a Saudi Prince, a sailor who ran into a massive garbage patch and a 16-year-old who bakes cookie for sea turtles have in common?  They’re among the 7 winners of this year’s Peter Benchley Ocean Awards.   The world’s preeminent honors for ocean conservation, sometimes…

Funny Video Takes on Plastic Pollution

As scientists debate how the world’s ocean might be picked free of plastic trash (hint: no one knows), a European nonprofit is taking on the problem with humor. The group Seas at Risk has just released the video above to remind people that what we do on land can have an impact on the ocean. Seas…

New Concerns About Plastic Pollution in Great Lakes ‘Garbage Patch’

Until recently, my concept of a ‘garbage patch’ was of an area of ocean with large pieces of floating debris, the kind of stray fishing gear and trash from ships and shorelines that collect where currents form eddies far from view of most people. Having seen my share of sea trash in 20,000+ miles of…