Yesterday, June 8th was World Ocean Day. I'm disappointed that I missed it, and didn't have the opportunity to blog about it on the actual day. Those that know me personally know how much I love the ocean. I love being on the water, or even better underneath SCUBA diving. By nature, I am an observer and love to hover and watch (avoid touching at all costs) marine life in their habitat. I am always fascinated by the behavior of different species and how they interact - this goes with animals on land and water.
A handful of scientists are researching one of several gyres in the ocean called the "ever expanding" Great Pacific Garbage Patch (more like a bowl of plastic soup, reported to be twice the size of Texas or larger). Here they have found six pounds of plastic for every pound of algae. Considering that the ocean determines our food, and our climate... this is devastating. According to the U.S. Commission of Ocean Policy, 80% of plastic in the ocean is not from ships but from land. The improper disposal of consumer waste eventually travels from beaches and rivers to the ocean... to be pulled by currents and accumulate in ocean gyres. So... what can we do? I think Wallace J. Nichols, a senior scientist at the Ocean Conservatory said it best - "live like you love the ocean." Simply put less in, take less out, and protect the edge.
To commemorate World Ocean Day, people were challenged to make June 8th a day without plastic. I'm glad to say that without even realizing that it was WOD - I did it... I used my Klean Kanteen water bottle, my new reusable cotton produce bags (see my previous post), and my totes. Even though World Ocean Day for 2008 has passed, I challenge you to make your own "day without plastic" day. Then tell me about it!
For a list of articles about the impacts of plastic in our lakes and oceans click here. The article that brought the significance of this issue to my awareness is called Plastic Ocean, by Susan Casey.