Friday, September 07, 2007

Setting sail for the Garbage Patch

A guided marine meditation:

Vacation day one. You’re standing on a sleek sailboat, gazing out to sea as a light breeze toys with your hair and fills your sails. Endless miles of open ocean stretch in all directions, creating an azure canvas upon which float:

274,000 used toothbrushes, 23,547 lighters, 456,782 plastic bags, 7,600 disposable diapers, 23,409 (insert favorite plastic item here).

Meet The Garbage Patch. The words largest landfill – in the ocean.

That this issue is finally beginning to attract more attention is largely due to the work of Captain Charles Moore and the Algalita Marine Research Foundation. Charles stumbled upon the garbage patch in 1997, and has since dived into the issue full force.

Charles and his intrepid crew set sail for the garbage patch yesterday aboard the Oceanic Research Vessel (ORV) Alguita. For the next 3 weeks, they will study this nasty phenomenon, collecting samples and info to better understand the scope.

You can check their progress on the Ship 2 Shore blog, as well as here – I’ll be following the journey closely, wishing I were there in person....their findings will remind me of why the issue moves me so.

And will fuel me to keep pushing this one, simple solution: Bring Your Own.


Cindy said...

Thanks for this post. I have been very concerned with plastic trash in the ocean. Now I can track Captain Moore's findings. Wish they could collect all the data in 3 months (rather than 3 years) and nations would start regulate themselves within a year. Unfortunately I know the reality is it will take 10 years for this issue to surface on any nation's agenda, if at all. Meanwhile I think we should just reduce the usage of plastic products and stop the usage of plastic bags altogether.

Crafty Green Poet said...

Thanks for the post and the link. I always have two fabric carrier bags in my handbag and try to avoid plastic as much as possible. We picked some plastic up off the beach last time we were on holiday, not much i know but a start