Oceans are filled with millions of tons of plastic. A 2021 study estimated that 80% of it was carried there by rivers. While many ocean-cleaning efforts have focused on trash that’s already made it to the high seas, river cleanups offer a way to intervene sooner. When a plastic bag is swept down a storm
Marine debris is a global problem that threatens the health and safety of oceans and coastal waterways. Marine debris can damage sensitive habitat that supports fisheries and can harm protected species. Marine debris also has economic impacts. These impacts are felt by those whose livelihoods are linked to the sea, yet in many cases the
The “pristine” Charleston estuary waters in South Carolina, are in worse shape than most people think. At least 7- ½ tons worse. That’s how much plastic is estimated to be breaking down in the tide and waves of Charlestown Harbor, its tidal rivers and creeks. The total comes from a study by a research team
Around the world, people dump about 20 million tons of plastic into the ocean every year, much of it in the form of flyaway plastic bags. This waste doesn’t get magically swallowed by the ocean–it lingers indefinitely, posing a threat to marine life and to human health. Picking up garbage in the ocean is an
Located near the tip of the Big Island of Hawaii, the southernmost point of the United States, lies Kamilo beach. Due to the unique currents that run near there, marine debris such as animal carcasses and logs would wash up, making it a prime spot for the native Hawaiians to collect logs for dugout canoes.
A vast majority of the gunk collected by the city in Queensway Bay, from the Catalina Terminal to the Shoreline Marina, comes from the Los Angeles River in California. Starting as far north as the San Fernando Valley, Long Beach’s waters long have been plagued by the urban runoff from cities upstream. In the last
Six decades in the making the man-made ecosystem known as the plastisphere began as particles of degraded plastic no bigger than grains of salt. When that debris washes into the ocean, it breaks down into bits that are colonized by microscopic organisms, many of them new to science. Researchers suspect that some of the denizens
Trash of all kinds exists in the ocean – clean-up crews have found cigarette butts, glass bottles and even mattresses. But the most common type of trash found in the ocean’s gyres (circular currents formed by wind patterns and the earth’s rotation) is tiny pieces of broken down plastics, known as microplastics. Microplastics, as well
A 2015 study led by the University of Georgia ranked India 12th among the top 20 coastal populations (and 192 countries) in the world that sent 0.60 million tonnes per year of mismanaged plastic waste into the ocean. Each time polythene covers, carry bags, or synthetic packaging materials are carelessly dropped on the streets or
Much of the trash and debris found in New York Harbor originated as litter discarded on city streets that was subsequently washed into the sewer system. The help prevent the litter from reaching the Bronx River, New York Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has installed $26 million of pollution control devices along the Bronx River.