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The Sciences

Voyage To The Plastic Island Of Garbage

The IntersectionBy Sheril KirshenbaumAugust 5, 2009 12:02 AM

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From Reuters:

LOS ANGELES, Aug 3 (Reuters) - Marine scientists from California are venturing this week to the middle of the North Pacific for a study of plastic debris accumulating across hundreds of miles (km) of open sea dubbed the "Great Pacific Garbage Patch." A research vessel carrying a team of about 30 researchers, technicians and crew members embarked on Sunday on a three-week voyage from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, based at the University of California at San Diego.

When Shifting Baselines announced the Rotten Jellyfish Awards for the top ten worst ocean decline stories of 2003, this artificial 'plastic' island came in at number 7. But in all seriousness, ocean currents have amassed so much garbage in the Pacific that there's a collection of floating refuse estimated to be larger than Texas. In other words, it's past time for us to start to pay attention to this environmental disaster. You bet I'll be following along...

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