Sunday, October 18, 2009

Plastic Trashed Yearling Sea Lion

(Kamilo Bay Hawaii -Photo by Ron Sanford) Over the past year I've been compelled to educate people about the issues of plastic pollution in the ocean or anywhere for that matter. That urge has not subsided since I returned from the Big Island of Oaho Hawaii. What I witnessed there should never happen. The beach does not have sand, it has plastic confetti. I fear without any relief from our one time use plastics nor a reduced amount of plastic litter on our roadsides, we will have to get used to plastic integrating into our sand and soil. And as humans many of us can probably deal with it okay. But its the ones that don't use plastic that are most inflicted by it.
When I returned from the North Pacific Garbage Patch, I had one more item on my wish list. I wanted to go to the Pacific Marine Mammal Center to talk to them about the impact of plastics on marine animals. No one had to say a word, what I saw spoke volumes. I witnessed a rescued yearling sea lion that nearly died because it had just one strand of fishing line around its neck. One line cut into this sea lion's neck a few inches laying open the skin all the way around her neck. Nothing should have to suffer this way. Nothing. Fortunately for her there are programs out there that try to protect as well as rehabilitate unfortunate animals like this one. The kick is she was swimming where she belongs amongst such things that do not belong. These plastics, like fishing line, don't degrade fast enough and are so durable it takes years for it to weaken enough to break, by then animals entangled have expired. If you would like to learn more about "Segway" and the wonderful people that helped her check out http://www.pacificmmc.org/patients.php and tell them thanks for me.

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