Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Day 84 - Dec. 21

life guard tower 26 - Ocean Park, Santa Monica CA
trash collected for 20 minutes
estimated pounds of trash collected today - 1.14
estimated pounds of trash collected to date - 365.05
This is what I saw when I got to the beach. Today was the Winter Solstice and the sun set around 4:48.
Then I saw this.

The top three types of trash littering our oceans:
1. cigarette butts
2. candy wrappers
3. fast food wrappers, and single use packaging

Our oceans are really suffering. Many ecosystems are. Obviously, I am particularly interested in marine environments. It is disturbing how much plastic trash and other items get into the oceans. This pollution is causing such a problem, that in my opinion, we do not even understand all of the consequences from it, and it is possible that we may not be able to undo what we have already done. In fact, unfortunately more than a little possible we will have to deal with these consequences for a very, very long time.

It is tragic that the cause of the devastation of marine life, marine habitat, and the negative impacts on human health, to name a few problems, are:


Excuse my rant, but I find this very disturbing.
I see plastic every time I am out here collecting. I would estimate that plastic items account for 90% of the trash I collect.
And then there is styrofoam....my friend asked me if it is recyclable. I found many answers, but here is the most concise from treehugger blog:

"Seriously, if you want to recycle polystyrene in the US you are pretty much on your own. That's the bad news. The good news is that the Polystyrene Packaging Association maintains a partial listing of industrial entities that will accept waste polystyrene for recycling purposes. If you happen to live near one of them and can get your municipal authority to sponsor something (if a program is not already in place) you could be positioned to do something constructive."

Really, that is the best we can do? I know, how about not make the stuff.
I feel like I was extra opinionated today which is hopefully unusual for Daily Ocean posts. However, I do have strong feelings and ideas about ocean conservation and protection or I wouldn't be writing this blog. So please, bare with me for the occasional more opinionated post. There is a quote I am paraphrasing, from someone I can't remember, (helpful I know)

"If you're not disturbed, you're not paying attention."