99% of the World’s Seabird Species Will have Plastic in their Stomachs by 2050

When you visit the beach what birds do you expect to see? For us here on the east coast seagulls, sandpipers, and plovers are probably some of the first to come to mind. If you live on the west coast maybe it is more along the lines of Albatross and Terns. While we see different birds at our local beaches, there is one similarity that they will all share. Within the next 40 years, they will all have some form of plastic in their stomachs.

Plastic, as you know, is a common commodity in life today. It would be near impossible to live a life without using plastic-based products in modern society. Yet as common as plastic is today, plastic has continued to be produced at a high rate. The amount of plastic in the world has doubled roughly every 11 years since its introduction in the 1950s. ( B. Hardesty, E. SeBille, C.Wilcox) As plastic concentration increases in the world, it increases in the ocean as well. Concentrations of up to 580,000 pieces of plastic per km^2 have been observed throughout the ocean. ( B. Hardesty, E. Sebille, C.Wilcox) That equates to approximately 1,502,193 plastic pieces per mile^2. 

These numbers are not only high, but they are consistent too. Global studies have shown that these high concentrations of trash are fairly consistent across the world’s oceans. “Modeling studies, validated by global sampling efforts, demonstrate that plastics are ubiquitous, with high concentrations in all five subtropical convergence zones and along the coastal margins near human population centers.” ( B. Hardesty, E. Sebille, C.Wilcox p. 1).

This figure will only grow larger with more and more plastic being produced. This is due to the fact that plastic has a tendency to not break down under natural circumstances. It is not a natural compound, and as a result, it is extremely durable when exposed to natural conditions. So while larger and larger amounts of plastic are added to the environment each year, the plastics that were previously disposed into the environment will still be there creating a pileup effect. This creates massive problems for sea life, particularly the world’s populations of seabirds.

Naturally, large amounts of plastic being deposited into the ocean are not good for the organisms that live in ocean environments. A recent study was done by the United Nations that found over 600 species were negatively affected by plastic through entanglement and ingestion ( B. Hardesty, E. Sebille, C.Wilcox). The species that they recorded ranged from microorganisms to whales, showing how broad the spectrum of organisms that is impacted by plastics is. Of these organisms, the group that seems to be most impacted are the seabirds.

Seabirds are often opportunistic carnivores and scavengers. This means that they will eat anything and everything they can find. They will eat fish remains, crabs, sea stars, clams, french fries, and other dead birds to name a few. Plastic can resemble fish or other food items which birds commonly feed upon. As a result, they appear to be one of the groups most impacted by increasing plastic concentration in the oceans. In a study done in 2015, a group looked at the data that was gathered on plastic ingestion by birds from 1962-2012. They found that over 80 species had been found to have ingested plastic and that at any given time 29% of the world’s seabirds had plastic in their stomachs throughout that time period. ( B. Hardesty, E. Sebille, C.Wilcox)

This percentage may not seem huge, but to put that in perspective, roughly 1 out of every 4 birds you see at the beach had plastic in its stomach between 1962 and 2012. They then took this data and created a regression model to predict what percentage of birds had plastic in their stomach in 2015. What they found was shocking. Their model predicted that 90.4 % of the seabirds on the planet would have some form of plastic in their gut if a study was conducted in 2015.

This could be due to the huge amount of plastic that is produced, and that will continue to be produced. “Global plastic production is increasing exponentially, with a current doubling time of 11 y; thus, between 2015 and 2026, we will make as much plastic as has been made since production began.” ( B. Hardesty, E. Sebille, C.Wilcox p. 3). They also created a model to show the future of our seabirds and their plastic consumption. By what they found 99.8% of seabird species will have ingested plastic by 2050, and 95% of the individuals within those species will have consumed plastic pieces. This means that by 2050 only roughly 1 out of 20 birds you see at the beach will not have plastic in its stomach.

You are probably thinking to yourself, “Well how could that possibly be, I see a million birds every time I go to the beach there is no way they have all eaten plastic!” Well, I might have found it hard to believe too, had I not been a part of several beach cleanups with “The Ocean Notion”. The problem doesn’t lie in the big plastic items such as bottles laying on the beach. It lies in the broken down plastic, the small fragments that come off of larger plastic items. When conducting our beach cleanup we found large amounts of small string-like plastic fragments mixed in amongst the large amounts of seaweed that were washed up. This could be a big source of the problem, as seabirds (seagulls in particular) are known to forage these piles of seaweed for detritus (deceased organisms) as well as crustaceans and mollusks. This is where a large amount of the plastic is likely consumed, and anyone visiting the beach would likely not know it is there if they weren’t looking for it. That is why plastics need to be removed from the environment before they break down into these small, consumable pieces.

While there is no way to remove all the plastic that is in the ocean or to stop all the plastic that is going to enter the ocean, there is a way that we can all contribute to helping slow this process down. Whenever you go to the beach bring a reusable bag and pick up plastic items that you come across. I bet you that you would fill that bag every 9 out of 10 times (depending on the beach you visit). Try to reduce a number of plastic items that you use. And for the plastic items, you do use, be sure to recycle them. The final thing you can do is probably the easiest of all, and that is to spread awareness about plastics in our oceans. Let everyone know about just how devastating plastic can be to our wildlife, and how they can help to reduce these impacts. After all, two pairs of hands helping a cause is better than one and at the end of the day, we’re all fighting to save our beautiful beaches and the wildlife that inhabit them.

References:

1.’" Birds Found in Pacific Coast." Birds Found in Pacific Coast. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 Feb. 2017.”

2. ‘"Up to 90% of Seabirds Have Plastic in Their Guts, Study Finds." The Guardian. Guardian News and Media, 31 Aug. 2015. Web. 20 Feb. 2017.”

2. “Wilcox, Chris, Erik Van Sebille, and Britta Denise Hardesty. "Threat of Plastic Pollution to Seabirds Is Global, Pervasive, and Increasing." Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 112.38 (2015): 11899-1904. PNAS.org. National Academy of Sciences, 31 Jan. 2015. Web. 20 Feb. 2017.”

Photographs:

http://www.abc.net.au/reslib/200912/r486205_2500380.jpg

https://www.universityofcalifornia.edu/sites/default/files/ucsb_Plastic-Debris.jpg

http://www.unep.org/gpa/img/news/BirdPlastics.jpg

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-XKBkq5WEMm0/UccveQxfDuI/AAAAAAAAB88/3xUFF-gi45g/s1600/IMG_2471.JPG

 

 

Seeking a Plastics-Free Ocean

By Lars Trodson : Friday 01/27/17

 Peter Mitchell is the co-founder of a new non-profit called Ocean Notion, which is dedicated removing plastic from the ocean, as well as reducing its use in the manufacturing of containers.

Peter Mitchell is the co-founder of a new non-profit called Ocean Notion, which is dedicated removing plastic from the ocean, as well as reducing its use in the manufacturing of containers.

Fifty years ago this year, young Benjamin Braddock, the uncertain anti-hero of the movie “The Graduate,” was given one word that was presumably the key to his future: Plastics. 

The grandchildren of that generation are beginning to feel differently. Peter Mitchell, son of island residents Tom and Kathleen Mitchell, has co-founded a new initiative called Ocean Notion that is designed to not only clean plastic out of the ocean, but also to reduce its use.

Ocean Notion started, Mitchell said, with ocean cleanups that he and one other co-founder, Tristen Rodgers, undertook as undergraduates at the University of Rhode Island. (There is a third co-founder, Martin Naro.)

“We saw this as a huge problem, but every time we went back, there was as much trash — or more,” Mitchell said. “We weren’t making a large enough difference.” Even recruiting more friends for the monthly cleanups was deemed not enough. This led to the founding of Ocean Notion in January of last year. The company achieved its official non-profit status four months later. Since July 2016, Mitchell said, their efforts have raised more than $125,000, along with some important local and global corporate sponsorships. 

The list of trashed items found at the beach is almost too diverse to mention. “We’ve found tires, coats, shoes, gloves, a rusted bicycle, bottles, cans, marine plastics,” said Mitchell.

The problem with plastic specifically, said Mitchell, is that it breaks down much in the same way that a rock grinds down into sand. A plastic bottle can break down in micro-plastic particles that can not be retrieved by netting or anything else. Micro-plastics are a menace to wildlife, said Mitchell, citing Midway Island in the Pacific where the leading cause of death among the bird population is fine plastic.

That’s why, after starting as a marine cleanup effort, the company has switched gears to monitor companies that may use substandard practices when it comes to the use of plastic, or in its method of recycling the products.

Even with decades of public awareness campaigns on the harm that pollution causes, Mitchell said it was “definitely frustrating” that littering is still such a massive problem. It is one of the reasons why Mitchell is opening a branch in Germany to start working with companies there about their use of plastic. “We’re going to combat it at the source,” he said. 

Ocean Notion is also going to start what Mitchell called a “plastic points program,” which is similar to carbon credit programs that allow companies with a large carbon footprint to offset that output in other ways 

“Companies that use plastic will be offered a way to buy ‘plastic points’ from us to help clean up the ocean,” said Mitchell. 

But he also said we need to think differently about this product. It’s still cheaper to make new plastic containers than to create them from recycled products, in part, he said, because of lobbying efforts on behalf of plastic manufacturers. It will take a shift in current thinking to use different material for containers other than plastic.

“We’ll be working with these corporations to change this outlook, showing them that to spend their money on innovation is worth it even if it cuts into your profits,” said Mitchell. While plastic is recyclable, Mitchell said, the technology to do so is still substandard.

Still, Ocean Notion is not abandoning its roots. The group is planning a cleanup out on the island, including an effort to get rid of some of the large marine debris on the west side that will require an all-terrain vehicle to remove. Mitchell said they hope to bring out the ATV for the cleanup, which is not yet scheduled. The island receives marine debris in the Gulf Stream coming up from Maryland and New York, he said.

“This is why we want to make a difference. Ocean conservation groups don’t do well in targeting the young generation of people,” said Mitchell, who is 21. “We want to educate the generation that will be the next generation taking over the corporate fields.”

It isn’t a problem that will go away by itself.

“Once you create plastic, there really is no way to get rid of it,” Mitchell said. 

http://www.blockislandtimes.com/article/seeking-plastics-free-ocean/48598

Local Youth Movement Uses Social Media to Shame Trashy Businesses

  The Ocean Notion uses advocacy and activism to get businesses to comply with recycling laws. This Dumpster sits behind a Valero gas station in Smithfield, R.I. (Tim Faulkner/ecoRI News)

The Ocean Notion uses advocacy and activism to get businesses to comply with recycling laws. This Dumpster sits behind a Valero gas station in Smithfield, R.I. (Tim Faulkner/ecoRI News)

By TIM FAULKNER/ecoRI News staff

A new advocacy group is trying an innovative solution to address an age-old problem: trash.

The Ocean Notion was formed by three University of Rhode Island students in February 2015 to focus mainly on beach cleanups.

“What really makes us different is that we are reaching out to a younger generation not reached by other groups,” said Peter Mitchell, 21, one of the co-founders who runs the organization from Block Island.

The initial aim was to start in Rhode Island and grow nationally by drawing attention to shoreline waste issues through social media. “A lot of people in our generation are really not aware of what’s going on and no one is reaching out to them,” Mitchell said.

But the mission took a turn this year, when Mitchell, Martin Naro, and Tristen Rodgers saw that the three Dunkin’ Donuts on URI's Kingston campus weren’t offering to recycle to customers, nor were they recycling their boxes and other back-of-the-store items.

They questioned Dunkin’ Donuts employees, managers and eventually regional managers about the problem. They got back some of the standard excuses: the onerous cost of recycling; the responsibility for recycling belongs to the property owner, not the store owner.

The three did a little digging, including reading an ecoRI News article, and learned that Rhode Island law requires all businesses, including fast-food restaurants and gas stations, to offer to recycle for their in-store customers. The law also mandates that businesses recycle their back-of-the-house recyclables such as cardboard boxes and plastic jugs.

A Dunkin’ Donuts district manager wasn’t aware of the recycling laws when The Ocean Notion presented them. But after D&D turned down the students' offer to help separate the three stores' trash and give them each a recycling bin, The Ocean Notion filed a complaint with the Department of Environmental Management (DEM). The state agency is currently investigating the matter. The company faces a fine up to $1,000.

“If they are not willing to help, we are not just going to stand by, we are going to report them,” Mitchell said.

The national chain has said that recycling is the responsibility of the franchise owner, not the corporate parent. On its website, the company outlines efforts to use more recyclable and compostable products. Dunkin’ Brands, the parent company, didn't respond to a request for an interview.

  The Ocean Notion founders during a recent beach cleanup. (The Ocean Notion)

The Ocean Notion founders during a recent beach cleanup. (The Ocean Notion)

The Ocean Notion has found that there are scant monitoring and enforcement of recycling laws by DEM, mostly because of staff shortages. The students also discovered that the state agency only investigates violations by retailers if someone complains.

Waste diversion, however, is a significant problem. A study conducted by Rhode Island Resource Recovery Corporation found that recyclable items account for 19 percent of trash. Another 16 percent is compostable.

The experience prompted The Ocean Notion to add a carrot-and-stick approach to its mission. When they find a business that fails to recycle, the group first offers to serve as a consultant and help implement responsible waste management. If that fails, the group reports the infraction to an enforcement entity such as DEM. It subsequently posts the unlawful business on social media, in hopes that the negative attention will spur action. This practice encourages its like-minded followers to do the same.

“A shame campaign can be effective, but we’d rather have (businesses) work together with us,” Rogers said.

The Ocean Notion will continue with beach cleanups, but it will also attack waste from the source. Businesses, the founders say, can be an agent of change. They are launching a model that treats trash much like carbon emissions. By offering trash credits, companies can purchase allowances for waste. The money from those credits would then fund waste-reduction programs and community education.

The organization's efforts won’t be exclusively checking on Dunkin’ Donuts but inspect all fast-food restaurants and other possible violators that consumers encounter frequently.

“We wanted to do something to give back,” Mitchell said. “We love the ocean. As much as we go and clean the beaches, we realized we really weren’t making a difference.”

From Concept to Conservation, Leading by Example

When Ocean Notion was founded the goal was simple, put an end to disposable plastic cluttering our oceans. Ocean Notion was co-founded by three University of Rhode Island Students, Martin Naro, Tristen Rodgers, and Peter Mitchell. As Ocean Notion began to develop, there was an overwhelming problem, after each beach cleanup, there was more trash. With each event we removed an exorbitant amount of litter, but each time we returned there was the same amount of refuse, sometimes even more. This was an extremely disconcerting problem. The solution? Expand the volunteer base and identify the root of the problem. 

After six months of research and development, Ocean Notion was ready to face the problem head on. In just six short months the executive board set up a Rhode Island branch with seven positions and a volunteer base of over 120 people. In just four short months the Executive team, working in conjunction with the employees of the Rhode Island branch, have raised over $120,000 in funding from donations and grants. Co-founder and Director of Operations Martin Naro, is at the helm of the Rhode Island Branch. “The Rhode Island Branch is our first official operating branch which is funded by the non-profit,” Naro Said. “Developing a strong structure for our employees to thrive is essential. The Rhode Island Branch will serve as a blueprint for other branches to adopt and work off of.” The Rhode Island Branch has held monthly beach cleanups and several fundraising events to raise awareness about ocean pollution. Naro is currently working closely with several companies in New York and Massachusetts to sponsor fundraising events this spring and summer. 

Peter Mitchell, Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer had an essential role in developing the Ocean Notion Corporate Watchlist. The watchlist provides an outlet to expose corporations who are engaging in irresponsible recycling methods. Mitchell is currently executing a new program to transition the Quick Service Restaurant (QSR) industry over to a more effective standard of recycling. Mitchell said, “The QSR restaurant industry is blatantly exploiting the lack of enforcement surrounding recycling violations. It has become an integral part of Ocean Notion’s mission to expose these companies, and then provide transition services.” Mitchell is currently in the process of developing connections to allow an easy and cost-effective transition for these companies. “Lack of education and enforcement regarding recycling will soon be a thing of the past once this program is implemented nationwide,” said Mitchell. 

As Ocean Notion begins to develop and spread throughout the country, Co-founder and President of the Board, Tristen Rodgers isn’t afraid to get his hands dirty to maintain Ocean Notion’s strong mission. Rodgers has also had a very hands-on role within the Rhode Island Branch. Whether it be aiding in program development, or lending a helping hand at fundraising and cleanup events. Working with Nyssa Sky, Vice President of the Board, Tristen has developed an Ocean Notion standard, which consists of honesty and transparency. “The overwhelming majority of our members are a volunteer, ensuring that as much funding as possible is utilized for ocean conservation. ‘I couldn’t be happier with the direction of the company, it's so heartwarming to see the amount of people who have come out to support the cause for environmental conservation,” said Rodgers. Sky has proven crucial in maintaining recycling standards during cleanup events. “The most important part of the cleanup process is what happens after the refuse leaves the beach. Without proper recycling, many of the materials could end up in landfills or back in the ocean, rather than being processed and reused. That's, why we are certain every volunteer, is educated on proper recycling standards,” said Sky.

Ocean Notion is leading by example to change the public impression of pollution within our society. To learn more information or to get involved, make sure to visit their website and sign up for the newsletter. 

Non-profit organization strives to conserve ocean, spread awareness

 

Thursday, December 1, 2016

By Olivia Perreault 
Managing Editor

http://rhodycigar.com/2016/12/01/non-profit-organization-strives-to-conserve-ocean-spread-awareness/

Ocean Notion, a non-profit organization created by residents of the East Coast, is on a mission to preserve the ocean through cooperating with corporations, cleaning up beaches and offering educational outreach in the community.

Peter Mitchell, co-founder and CEO of the non-profit organization, explained how Ocean Notion was formed this past February. He said that last year, Tristen Rodgers and himself had the idea to start it, and asked their friend Martin Naro if he wanted to help.

“We didn’t think that we could give back enough just by ourselves,” Mitchell said. “This is something we were really passionate about growing up near the water, and what we had seen was just such a large problem with ocean pollution and the lack of recycling that happens in the country.”

Mitchell said that he and Rodgers started doing their own beach cleanups and realized there was only so much that a couple of people could do to make a difference, so they started Ocean Notion. He wanted to start to give back and said that if he engaged with the community more, he would be able to utilize his surroundings and really make a difference.

Catherine Barr, an environmental journalist in Ocean Notion, said that the organization is working to become nationally recognized, but right now there is only an official Rhode Island branch. Mitchell explained that Ocean Notion is currently in the process of expanding to Connecticut, Oregon and Washington. To do this, he said they use college communities as an outlet to reach the community in that city or state.  Additionally, Barr explained that Ocean Notion is working with a corporation to implement and enforce the recycling program. On a simpler scale, Barr said that the organization does a lot of beach clean-ups. So far, they have removed 2,200 pounds of trash.

Right now, Barr said the organization is acting upon educational outreach in the community. She explained that Ocean Notion is working with a local Rhode Island high school to get a program started with AP environmental science or other environmental specific classes. By doing this, the organization hopes to bring awareness to recycling plastic and paper, instead of just throwing everything out. She said that it’s really important to reuse these items, even if it’s not possible to reduce them.

Barr, who is a sophomore at the University of Rhode Island and double majoring in environmental science and elementary education, said that she joined the organization because she love being close to the ocean. Being a Chicago native, Barr had only ever been around lakes before coming to Rhode Island.

“I have grown to have such an appreciation and gratitude for [the ocean].” Barr said. “I think it’s really cool that we’re trying to get an organization involved with taking actual steps that are manageable to conserving our ocean, [and] our animal life in it.”

She said that the organization’s mission statement talks about how important the ocean is to us and our daily life, including simple things, like just breathing.

“Fifty percent of the oxygen we breathe comes from the ocean, we live in the ocean state, we’re on the East Coast and everyone loves the beach, so it’s a big  part of our life here,” Barr said. “Environmentally speaking, there’s a lot of conservation that needs to be spread awareness wise, also taken action on.”

In the future, Mitchell’s goal is to help more corporations in the country to transition to a more effective recycling program. He said that this would entail working with corporations and local departments of environmental management offices to essentially set up recycling routes. This will increase recycling among employees and overall emphasize recycling within their company.

So far, the organization has four members on the executive branch level, seven positions at the URI branch, and about 120 volunteers. Mitchell said the branch at the university is funded by the nonprofit itself, through their ocean conservation fund. Barr said that the executive branch has emphasized how important it is to make sure their mission statement and what they do is very manageable, stable and doable. She said that Ocean Notion wants to ensure that they have a strong foundation — strong enough to be founders. Through dependability and small steps to spread on the East Coast, they hope to continue on the West Coast as well.

“We think global, act local,” Barr said. “With the beach clean up – that’s us taking small steps and making sure this could be spread and [be] implemented in other places when the organization starts to spread with these corporations and operating with them, but we have to start here. Improving the ocean one person at a time.”

To get involved with Ocean Notion, visit their website at ocean-notion.org and find the organization on social media. Meetings are held every Thursday at 5 p.m. in the Center for Biotechnology and Life Sciences (CBLS) on the fourth floor, and all are welcome.

Google Ad Grants Award

The Ocean Notion is a recipient of a Google Ad Grants award. The Google Ad Grants program supports registered nonprofit organizations that share Google's philosophy of community service to help the world in areas such as science and technology, education, global public health, the environment, youth advocacy, and the arts. Google Ad Grants is an in-kind advertising program that awards free online advertising to nonprofits via Google AdWords.

Horrors Of The Pacific

 A visual definition of a Gyre

A visual definition of a Gyre

 

There are many things that we do not know about our planet. Yes, we know about the beauties- Europe, tropical islands, national parks, and big cities, but how much do we really know about these places and things? The reality of it is that our planet is getting sicker with each passing year.

    Climate change has been proven by 97 percent of scientists- so why aren’t we acting quicker to decrease our carbon footprints? A big factor that affects climate change are the oceans. The Pacific Ocean is in great danger and is progressively getting worse.

    Between the coasts of the United States and Asia, there is what is known as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.  This patch is made out of Gyres-  systems of circular ocean currents formed by winds and the rotation of the planet.  Trash is blown into the ocean and eventually makes its way into these gyres forming a 4,928-acre garbage patch.  

    The Great Pacific Garbage Patch is made up of 80 percent land waste and 20 percent waste from boaters.  Alone, 705,000 tons of the debris is made up of fishing nets.  Other pieces of trash include styrofoam, plastic bags, bottle caps, and plastic bottles.  This massive patch of garbage is affecting wildlife and the food chain.  

    A chemical called Bisphenol A, is released from different types of plastics. This chemical causes serious health problems to humans and wildlife when it is consumed.  When fish, crab, lobster, and eel are in an environment with plastic waste, they become contaminated. This affects the food chain and puts humans at risk for serious health issues.  One part of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch is a 1,536 acre island- Midway Atoll.  

 A bird from the island of Midway Atoll

A bird from the island of Midway Atoll

    Midway Atoll is only 3,200 miles from the coast of California.  It is home to 1.5 million black-footed albatrosses.  90 percent of the island’s land is covered in trash. 20 tons of plastic debris is washed up on the island each year, and five tons of that debris and fed to baby albatrosses. There is so much pollution on Midway Atoll that every bird will die with a full belly of plastic. This is only one major element of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.

    The ocean and everything affected by them become more polluted each year.  The Great Pacific Garbage Patch is only one of the many horrors of our planet earth. With polluted lands and waters, the earth will eventually not be able to withstand human life.  

Evo Morales, president of Bolivia, said, “What mankind must know is that human beings cannot live without Mother Earth, but the planet can live without humans.”    

Making Waves at The University of Rhode Island

Ocean Notion-logo (3).png

The students at the University of Rhode Island are hard at work discussing approaches to make a difference in the Rhode Island area with ocean pollution. We at the Ocean Notion look forward to hearing more from our developing new branch. We can't wait to see the difference these passionate college students can make! The University of Rhode Island branch will have their own page devoted to the operational tasks underway at the school. Follow the new blog for updates and new details!

Click on the link below to see the University of Rhode Island's branch page!

Klean Kanteen

 

KLEAN KANTEEN

Klean Kanteen is a company dedicated to the concept of sustainability. They believe in a business model of giving back more then they take. They have been running this mission called “bring your own.” This mission is striving to achieve termination of disposable cups, such as paper and styrofoam and promote use of reusable canteens, bottles, mugs, etc. stoppage 

WE HAVE A PROBLEM

  • We use 58 billion paper cups each year (128 cups per person).
  • We throw away 35 billion plastic water bottles each year.
  • We produce enough Styrofoam cups every year to circle the earth 436 times.
  • In 24 seconds, we will use 44,110 disposable coffee cups.
  • If Americans stopped using to-go cups, we would save 160 million cups every day.
  • The average US family throws away a carload of plastic every month (including about 60 water bottles).
  • Plastic accounts for around 10% of the total waste we generate.

MAKE A CHANGE

As well stated in one of The Ocean Notion’s last Instagram post, buying your own reusable container can actually be stylish and cost effective. Purchasing reusable containers is a great way of doing your part in saving the ocean and reducing outputs of plastics each year. 

We Are Losing Our Reefs!

 Before and after shots of reef damage 

Before and after shots of reef damage 

According to NOAA, (Ocean Service Education) the greatest threat to ocean reefs is pollution produced by humans. Land-based runoff and pollutant discharges can result from, dredging, coastal development, agricultural and deforestation activities, along with sewage treatment plant operations. In addition to pollution, practical farming techniques are not implemented with coral reef farming. Exotic coral and coral fish attract a large economic market. Most methods of coral fishing are barbaric, widely known as blast fishing and cyanide fishing. Blast fishing techniques involve dropping dynamite into coral reef environments in order to stun and scare fish out of their hiding spots. Cyanide fishing involves dumping large amounts of cyanide over coral reef habitats to stun fish for easier hunting. Obvious issues with these fishing methods are the death of rare fish along with the destruction of beautiful coral reefs. We have to join together to put an end to this immoral behavior. Please help The Ocean Notion make a difference. Alone we can make a dent, but with the help of volunteers around the world we can change these practices indefinitely. 

Narragansett Cleanup Event

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Today we held our first cleanup event in Narragansett, RI at Roger Wheeler Beach. With the help of wonderful volunteers we collected 21 bags of trash and other large marine debris! Everyone can make a difference! To find out how you can get involved please visit our Get Involved page! Paper bags and refreshments were generously donated from our sponsor Belmont Market!

The Ocean Cleanup Project

 

Instead of going after the plastic using boats and nets, The Ocean Cleanup envisions a network of long floating barriers, which would allow the ocean currents to passively gather the plastic. Once the plastic is concentrated at a central point, it can be collected for recycling.

 

The Ocean Cleanup’s passive technology enables the ocean to clean itself. A V-shaped array of floating barriers, attached to the seabed, will catch the plastic deposited there by the natural ocean currents.


Underneath the booms, a submerged non-permeable screen will help concentrate plastic which is suspended under the surface. Most of the current will pass under these screens, carrying away all (neutrally buoyant) sea life and preventing by-catch. The lighter-than-water plastic will collect in front of the floating barriers.


The scalable array of floating barriers will funnel plastics towards the center of the structure, enabling a central platform to efficiently extract and store the concentrated plastic until it is transported to land for recycling. Intended for large-scale deployment, it can harvest plastic from millions of square kilometers.

KEY FIGURES

The Ocean Cleanup’s feasibility study indicates that a single 100 kilometer-long cleanup array could remove 42% of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch over a period of 10 years. In our most conservative estimate this amounts to over 70 million kilos of plastic, at a cleanup cost of 4.53 Euro per kilo.

Top Ten Animals To Develop Cancer From Pollution

In February of 2008, a study was released from Journal Science. This study proved that human pollution has made it to every part of the globe from overfishing, greenhouse gases, global warming, and the introduction of toxins into the environment. Not just Humans, but all species are being impacted and put in harm because of human behavior. Due to toxins making their way into our water, many mammals in the aquatic ecosystem are paying the price. New research shows that the toxins build up in high amount in the fat and breast milk of underwater animals. Unfortunately this leads to cancer for many of our aquatic friends, especially the larger aquatic mammals. The Toxic Top Ten: Bottlenose Dolphin, Orca, Rissos Dolphin, Harbor Seal, Beluga Whale, Mediterranean Monk Seal, Common Dolphin, Gray Seal, Polar Bear. The 10th is the Steller's Sea Eagle.

http://www.bluevoice.org/news_issueseffects.php