Friday, November 20, 2009

What's with the bottle and can counter?

Check out the bottle counter on the right. It represents the number of bottles NOT going to recycling. They are going in a landfill, on the ground, into our waterways and/or out to our oceans. When I was out in both the Atlantic and the Pacific oceans, plastic drink bottles were the most recognizable item in the seas. Plastics that could be used to make polyester for clothing as well as carpeting. It's as much a resource as coal, petroleum oil, and electricity. Did I say electricity? Yes, burning plastics that cannot be recycled is another way we can reuse plastics. Bermuda, an island that has exhausted its landfills, burns trash for energy. Although it has CO2 emissions, it is no worse than burning coal and in many newer incinerators, like the one in Wilmington, NC, they can burn much cleaner than coal. So do the right thing, put your recycliables in the bin and help slow down the counter on the right, and help make something out of one time use plastics!

To learn more:

Wednesday, November 18, 2009


Please forgive the brain purge. I've seen a lot of information that I'd like to share somewhere, and I hope you find this useful in your thoughts and conversations.

The UK has launched a new site as a forum to discuss a lot of marine debris and plastic issues. We don't have a lot of answers, so this is a great way to see what others are thinking across the pond. View the Plastics 2020 Challenge

Sea turtles are eating our plastic. See information from Australia here. Their preliminary studies indicate that more than 35% of the sea turtles studied died from eating trash.

A different view of marine debris, also from Australia, can be found here. Turtles aren't the only ones that are impacted by marine debris.

Bonnie found this video a couple weeks ago, and I keep marking the email she sent with the link as "unread" so I could find it. Some fish are found in bottles, some bottles are found in fish. Either way, it's not pretty.

International Coastal Cleanup photos

I love the International Coastal Cleanup. They have Flickr account so participants can upload their photos from the event. This set is from the Dominican Republic. Take a minute to watch the slide show. It's impressive.

-posted by Jennifer

Saturday, November 14, 2009

What BBC and I have in Common

One of the beaches I visited while in Hawaii and later wrote about is Kamilo Bay, Hawaii. A BBC film crew had been led down to this beach just like I had been by Noni and Ron Stanford. What I was told, the producer broke down when seeing it. It, too, made my knees weak to see this remote beach covered in everyday use plastics and fishing gear. Imagine the esteemed beautiful beaches in Hawaii getting pummeled with plastic trash. As Captain Moore states it comes in from the Pacific Rim meaning from all the continents that surround the Pacific. I saw it with my own eye. Items from Japan, Korea, China, Canada, and the US, to name a few, littered the beach and that's only the recognizable stuff. Broken fragments visibly washed in with each wave.

Here's the thing. Of all the problems the ocean is experiencing right now this is the one with the easiest fix. Use less plastic, reuse plastic items you already bought and buy stuff that doesn't come in plastic like a bar of soap instead of body wash in a plastic bottle. It's a start! Oh and everyday, just pick up one piece of trash that isn't yours. It'll make you feel good.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

More on Segway the Sea Lion Fishing Line scar(f)

On October 9, 2009, I witnessed treatment given to a sea lion named Segway at the Pacific Marine Mammal Center in California. Segway was found with one strand of monofilament (fishing line) around her neck. She was not sedated, only local antisteshia was applied. Even though she was a wild animal, she must have known the good people at the Pacific Marine Mammal Center were there to help her because she didn't put up a big fight though out the 30 minute procedure. It might also have been because she was just too week to eat. Her body weight was well below normal. She was starving to death due to her injury.

I received word yesterday that she is doing fine, but that it had been touch and go for a lot longer than expected. One strand of fishing line created a gash in this yearlings neck several inches wide and deep. Check out the video and if this doesn't change peoples thinking about ridiculously durable plastics, I don't know what can. To learn more about Segway and the center

Monday, November 2, 2009

Fishing is somewhat primal but . . .

whqr: : Gillnets (2009-11-02)
does it have to be so destructive? Listen to the WHQR audio and learn how change can do some good. Below is a list of actual occurences of damage done by nets just this week to sea turtles. There were 18 strandings reported last week (only one live) that may or may not be associated, but these 4 incidental captures are:

GREEN Date:OCT/29 ALIVE DARE COUNTY INSHORE in Pamlico Sound near Frisco. Caught in 5.5" mesh gill net, was released.

KEMP'S RIDLEY Date:OCT/27 ALIVE HYDE COUNTY INSHORE in Pamlico Sound near Ocracoke. Caught in pound net, not entangled. Plastron fractures, now at Topsail Turtle Hospital.

KEMP'S RIDLEY Date:OCT/27 ALIVE HYDE COUNTY INSHORE in Pamlico Sound near Ocracoke. Caught in pound net, not entangled. Skull fractures, now at Topsail Turtle Hospital.

LOGGERHEAD Date:OCT/27 ALIVE HYDE COUNTY INSHORE in Pamlico Sound near Ocracoke. Caught in pound net, not entangled. Boat prop wounds, now at Topsail Turtle Hospital

Here is why it matters check out this video.