Monthly Archives: June 2014

Plastics Don’t Disappear, But They Do End Up In Seabirds’ Bellies

bird plastic belly

The vast majority of debris in the ocean — about 75 percent of it — is made of plastic. It can consist of anything from plastic bottles to packaging materials, but whatever form it takes, it doesn’t go away easily.

While plastic may break down into smaller and smaller pieces, some as small as grains of sand, these pieces are never truly biodegradable. The plastic bits, some small enough that they’re called microplastics, threaten marine life like fish and birds, explains Richard Thompson, a professor of marine biology at Plymouth University in the U.K.

“The smaller the piece of debris, the more accessible it is — and the wider the range of creatures that could potentially eat it,” says Thompson, who talked with NPR’s Melissa Block about his research on the effects of these tiny particles.

Thompson says limiting the damage plastics can cause to sea life doesn’t mean giving up plastic entirely. “It’s not about banning plastics,” Thompson says. “It’s about thinking about the ways that we deal with plastics at the end of their lifetime to make sure that we capture the resource.”

By recycling items like plastic bottles, he says, and then ultimately recycling those products again, what might have become harmful debris can be turned instead to better use — and kept out of the ocean.

You can hear Block’s full conversation with Thompson here: http://www.npr.org/player/v2/mediaPlayer.html?action=1&t=1&islist=false&id=322959714&m=323032849

Advertisements

U.N. Report: Our Oceans are Trashed with Plastic!

indonesia Man walks beside the scattered plastic trash brought in by the waves at Kuta Beach in Indonesia.

–  A series of new reports are raising concerns about the damage plastic waste is doing to oceans — harming marine animals, destroying sensitive ecosystems, and contaminating the fish we eat.

   The United Nations Environment Programme, as well as the NGOsGlobal Ocean Commission and Plastic Disclosure Project, released reports on Monday ringing the alarm bell about the environmental impact of debris on marine life.

   Plastic waste in oceans is causing $13 billion of damage each year, according to the UNEP report, and that figure could be much higher. Worldwide plastic production is projected to reach 33 billion tons by 2050, and plastic makes up 80% of litter on oceans and shorelines.

   “Plastics undoubtedly play a crucial role in modern life, but the environmental impacts of the way we use them cannot be ignored,” said UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner in a press release.

   Ten to 20 million tons of plastic end up in the ocean each year, from litter, runoff from poorly managed landfills, and other sources. Once it’s in the water, plastic does not degrade but instead breaks into smaller pieces and swirls in massive ocean gyres, creating soupy surfaces peppered with the material.

   Scientists are especially worried about the growing prevalence of tiny microplastics which are smaller than 5 millimeters. These include microbeads, which are used in toothpaste, gels, facial cleansers and other consumer goods. Microplastics aren’t filtered by sewage treatment plants, and can be ingested by marine animals with deadly effect.

   Ocean debris isn’t just an environmental issue — it also complicated the search for Malaysia Airlines flight 370 earlier this year, as floating debris confused satellite images.

What can be done?

   “It’s not just an ocean problem, it’s a business and a municipal issue,” Woodring said. “The ocean is just downstream of our activities. The real solution is upstream at the producer and user end.”

   Governments can help solve the problem by regulating the use of plastics and creating infrastructure to recycle them. For example, dozens of nations have banned plastic bags at supermarkets or restricted their use.

   That’s a “good start,” said Ada Kong, a campaigner at Greenpeace. But they can go further, she said. “Governments should enforce laws to regulate the cosmetic manufactures to label the ingredients (of consumer goods), including all the microplastics.”

   The general public can also be conscious about their plastic footprint by simply purchasing goods without a lot of excess plastic packaging. People should also separate their plastic from other waste and recycle it, Woodring said.

From waste to resource

   Companies that produce plastic goods have perhaps the biggest opportunity to make a difference, Woodring said. They can engage their customers with rebate or deposit programs, giving them incentives to bring back plastic for recycling.

   “Everything from bottles to food packaging can be made from recycled plastic,” Woodring said. “The technology is there today to reuse it.”

   His organization is hosting a “Plasticity Forum” in New York City on Tuesday featuring presentations about how to creatively reuse plastic.

   Plastic isn’t just waste — it’s “a valuable material, pound-for-pound worth more than steel, and we’re just not capitalizing on it today,” Woodring said.

   The new reports come on the eve of the first-ever United Nations Environment Assembly in Nairobi, a forum for environmental ministers, scientists, and others to discuss strategies to combat climate change and other environmental problems. An ocean conference hosted by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry in Washington, D.C. last week also focused on marine pollution.

   Perhaps the greatest sign of the problem is the rapidly-growing Great Pacific Trash Patch, a massive sheet plastic and other debris that circles in a gyre across the ocean.

-Article compliments of Daojun Wu (CNN)-

 

Thousands of Lives Coming to a Premature End

The last moments of thousands of fish in the Gulf of Mexico. They are dying from asphyxiation, due to the depletion of oxygen in the water from the annihilation of phytoplankton from ocean pollution.

This isn’t a singular occurrence, this is happening all over the world! See: https://projectoceanus.wordpress.com/2014/06/13/mass-fish-deaths-millions-have-been-found-dead-all-over-the-world-in-the-past-month/

If our oceans go, we go! Stop polluting our waters!

Tell us what you think.

(video compliments of GuppyStorm photography)

http://www.titan-oceanus.com
http://www.twitter.com/ProjectOceanus
http://www.facebook.com/oceanusproject
http://www.titan-oceanus.tumblr.com
http://www.linkedin.com/company/project-oceanus
plus.google.com/+Titan-oceanus

Tell Trader Joe’s parent company to stop killing whales with plastic waste!

whale plastic belly

Link to the petition (click here): Online Petition – http://action.sumofus.org/a/sperm-whale-plastic-tesco/4/2/?sub=fb Click on it, and sign it, please.

A sperm whale that washed up in Spain died after swallowing almost 60 different pieces of plastic dumped by the greenhouses that supply Trader Joe’s parent company, Aldi.

This 4.5 tonne whale was defeated by 17 kg of plastic waste, including two dozen sections of the transparent sheeting used to cover industrial greenhouses. There’s no excuse for Aldi’s failure to ensure their suppliers recycle and safely dispose of their deadly waste — but as long as they’re given a free pass, plastic will continue to swamp our oceans each year, and more whales will die.

Tell Trader Joe’s parent company to make sure their greenhouses recycle or safely dispose of their waste.

Only about 1,000 sperm whales are left in the Mediterranean, and they feed near waters flooded by the greenhouse industry. Acre after acre of farmland in southern Spain is covered in reams of plastic sheeting to produce the perfect growing conditions for year round fruit and vegetables. Due to poor waste disposal, this plastic ends up floating in the Mediterranean.

Now these whales are under threat from swallowing huge quantities of non-degradable plastics. If we lose the whales, we disable an entire ecosystem — and all because grocery stores are too lazy to monitor their suppliers.

Our supermarket chains could easily ensure that plastics used to grow our fruit and vegetables are disposed of correctly and recycled. But so far, they are walking away and counting their profits — and as they do, our oceans and seas are dying. Let’s not let another whale die from too much plastic.

Tell Aldi to clean up their supply chains and stop their suppliers from dumping toxic plastics in to the Mediterranean.

This isn’t the first time we’ve taken on the big supermarket chains. We came together to take on the might of Tesco in the UK when it was electronically tagging its workers, and we won a landmark campaign in the US demanding that Trader Joe’s help farm workers get paid a fair wage. Now we need to come together and take on grocery stores and demand they help save the whales.

Mass Fish Deaths: Millions Have Been Found Dead All Over The World In The Past Month

oceanus, fish, deathsMillions of fish are suddenly dying all over the planet.  In fact, there have been dozens of mass fish death events reported in the past month alone.  So why is this happening?  Why are fish dying in unprecedented numbers all over the world?  When more than six tons of fish died in Marina Del Ray over the weekend, it made headlines all over the United States.  But the truth is that what just happened off the southern California coast is just the tip of the iceberg.  In 2014, mass fish die-offs have pretty much become a daily event globally.  Individually, each event could perhaps be dismissed as an anomaly, but as you will see below when they are all put together into one list it truly is rather stunning.  So is there a reason why so many fish are dying?  Is there something that connects these mass fish death events?  Has something about our environment changed?  The following are just a few examples of the mass fish death reports that have been coming in day after day from all over the globe…

*In April, 500,000 carp were found “floating belly-up in Kentucky’s Cumberland River“.

*Over the weekend, thousands upon thousands of fish died just off the southern California coastline

California Fish and Wildlife workers are still scooping dead sea life from the surface of the harbor Monday after thousands of dead anchovies, stingrays and even an octopus died and floated up over the weekend.

So far officials have cleaned up 6 tons of dead fish, and they still have a long way to go.

*The death of approximately 35,000 fish up in Minnesota is being blamed on a “lack of oxygen“.

*The recent die off of thousands of fish in the Shark River near Belmar, New Jersey is also being blamed on “oxygen depletion“.

*Officials in Menifee, California are still trying to figure out what caused the death of thousands of fish in Menifee Lake a few weeks ago…

Authorities continued testing the water in Menifee Lake Friday after thousands of dead fish have been seen floating since last weekend.

Menifee city officials first heard reports Saturday of floating fish at the lake, which is located on private property about a half-mile east of the 215 Freeway.

*In the Gulf of Mexico, dolphins and sea turtles are dying “in record numbers“.

*Maryland officials are still puzzled by the death of 7,000 Atlantic menhaden last month…

State environmental scientists are investigating the cause of a fish kill that left about 7,000 dead Atlantic menhaden in waters that include the Inner Harbor and Fells Point.

Jay Apperson, spokesman for the Maryland Department of the Environment, said that biologists went by boat on Tuesday to the area of Monday’s fish kill. He says the area extended from the mouth of the Patapsco River, up the Baltimore Harbor to Fells Point and Fort McHenry.

*Mass fish die-offs in Lake Champlain up in Vermont are being called “the new normal” by government officials.

*Along the coast of northern California, seals and young sea lions are dying “in record numbers“.

*Three months ago, farmers in Singapore lost 160 tons of fish to a mass die-off event.

*Back in September, approximately 40 kilometers of the Fuhe River in China “was covered with dead fish“.

*Also during last September, close to ten tons of dead fish were found floating on a lake near the town of Komotini, Greece.

The following are some more examples of mass fish death events from just the past several weeks that come from a list compiled on another website

*****

17th May 2014 – Masses of fish turn up dead in a marina in Pultneyville, New York, America. Link

16th May 2014 – Mass die off of fish in a river in Aragatsotn, Armenia. Link

15th May 2014 – Hundreds of fish dying off ‘due to pollution’ in the wetlands of Rewalsar, India. Link

14th May 2014 – Thousands of dead fish washing ashore in Cootes Paradise, Hamilton, Canada. Link

13th May 2014 – Tens of thousands of dead fish wash up along coast of Tasmania, Australia. Link

12th May 2014 – Mass death of fish in the river Eden ‘is a mystery’ in Cumbria,England. Link

11th May 2014 – Thousands of dead Puffer Fish, also dead turtles washing up on various beaches in Colombia and Costa Rica. Link and here

11th May 2014 – Hundreds of dead fish found in a pond is ‘a mystery’ in Southborough, England. Link

10th May 2014 – Thousands of fish dead due to pollution in spring in Sikkim,India. Link

9th May 2014 – Die off of Fish ’causes panic’ in the Luda Yana River in Bulgaria.Link

8th May 2014 – Thousands of dead fish appear in a lake ‘shock residents’ in Mangalore, India. Link

8th May 2014 – 12 TONS of dead fish removed from lakes in Chisago County, Minnesota, America. Link

7th May 2014 – Massive die off of fish in reservoirs in Quanzhou, China. Link

7th May 2014 – Thousands of fish found dead on the shores of Roatan,Honduras. Link

5th May 2014 – Hundreds of dead fish wash up on a beach ‘a mystery’ in San Antonio Oeste, Argentina. Link

5th May 2014 – Mass death of fish found in lakes in Almindingen, Denmark.Link

4th May 2014 – Mass die off of fish in a river in Fujian, China. Link

3rd May 2014 – 1,000+ dead fish wash ashore along a lake in Ontario, Canada.Link

2nd May 2014 – 40,000 fish die suddenly in a dam in Piaui, Brazil. Link

30th April 2014 – Mass fish kill ‘worst I’ve seen in 26 years of working here’ in Iowa, America. Link

30th April 2014 – Large amount of dead fish found floating along a river in Xiasha District, China. Link

29th April 2014 – Dozens of sea turtles are washing up dead in South Mississippi,America. Link

29th April 2014 – Thousands of dead fish washing up along the shores of Lakes in Wisconsin, America. Link

28th April 2014 – Turtles and other marine life continue to wash up dead in Bari,Italy. Link

28th April 2014 – Large fish kill found in the Mogi River in Brazil. Link

25th April 2014 – Large fish kill found in a reservoir in Nanchong, China. Link

24th April 2014 – Large amount of fish wash up dead along a river in La Chorrera, Panama. Link

23rd April 2014 – 2 Million fish found dead in a dam in Tehran, Iran. Link

23rd April 2014 – Mass die off of fish in Island lake in Ontario, Canada. Link

23rd April 2014 – Thousands of dead fish appear in a lake in Mudanjiang, China.Link

22nd April 2014 – 1,000 fish found dead in Oona River, County Tyrone,Northern Ireland. Link

21st April 2014 – Large amounts of fish washing up dead along the Panchganga River in India. Link

19th April 2014 – MILLIONS of dead fish found floating in Thondamanaru Lagoon, Sri Lanka. Link

*****

And remember, this list represents events that have happened in just a little over the past month.

So what is causing all of these mass fish death events?

Please feel free to share your opinion by posting a comment below…

This article first appeared here at the American Dream by Michael Snyder

!Attention Website Designers! Oceanus is looking to upgrade our current website!

!Attention Website Designers!

oceanus, lending vision to hope

Our current website: http://www.titan-oceanus.com

Oceanus is currently looking for a talented, experienced web designer to take the reins on upgrading our website.

Our current website is an acceptable springboard: it functions well, gets the point across, is educational, minimalistic, tells a story… but it is not quite on the level it needs be for a project of this scope and magnitude.

We are looking for someone to create a top-notch site for us; A website that is leagues beyond our current site in the realms of quality, graphics, support, structure, readability, optimization, responsiveness, accessibility, usability, and professionalism.

Our Oceanus website 2.0 needs to be able to handle a large flow of traffic; have its metadata optimized; be modern, clean, crisp, streamlined, uncluttered, visually stimulating, easy to navigate, responsive to different devices, simple yet bold, and should be able to tell our story within 30 seconds of a visitor landing on our page. It needs to be crystal clear as to where users are to go to access specific information. It needs to contain the vast majority of the information on our current site, plus a good amount of other information as well (which will be added during creation), as well as able to add further information with ease (pages, blogs, videos, etc). Think of our current website beneficially amplified on all fronts. Quality is of the utmost import.

Someone with a love for the environment, and with the desire to see our project succeed, is a definite plus. Someone who is interested in joining our team, being an ongoing asset when it comes to things like search engine optimization, upkeep, updating the site, troubleshooting, and just overall being a part of making this vision become reality (someone who has a vested interest in Oceanus’ success) will take precedence in regards to applicants.

Although we have had a great many responses to this call to action already, we will continue to contact each and every person who is interested, and go over each applicant’s portfolio and areas of expertise to see exactly who will be the best fit for the position. There are great opportunities here for the right person, and we intend on finding that person. Here’s to hoping it’s you!

If interested, contact us in one of the three ways below:
Email us: contact@titan-oceanus.com
Message us directly through our website: http://www.titan-oceanus.com/contact-us.html
Message us on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/oceanusproject

Remember, we’re looking for the practical evolution of our old website, as designed by a dynamic and valuable member of Oceanus- someone who can step our website up to the next level and show us new ways in which to shine!

A brand new type of rock has formed from our plastic waste.

plastiglomerate, plastic rock, pollutionScientists have announced the existence of a new, trash-based rock type: plastiglomerate.

The new type of material will stay in the Earth’s rock record forever, according to a new study, and will one day act as a geological marker for humanity’s impact on the planet.

The research from the University of Western Ontario in Canada has revealed plastiglomerates form when melted plastic rubbish on beaches mixes with sediment, lava fragments and organic debris to produce a whole new type of rock.

So far the material has only been found at Hawaii’s Kamilo beach, which is considered one of the dirtiest in the world, but the unique geological material likely exists in many other locations, as Joseph Castro reports for LiveScience.

Research on the plastiglomerates from Kamilo Beach have found there are two types: In situ and clastic. The results are published in GSA Today.

The in situ variety is rarer, and forms when “plastic melts on rock and becomes incorporated into the rock outcrop,” lead author Patricia Corcoran told LiveScience. Clastic plastiglomerates (pictured above) instead form as loose rocky structures, when a combination of shells, coral, basalt, woody debris and sand are glued together by melted plastic.

Plastiglomerate was first discovered by oceanographer Captain Charles Moore, who thought that molten lava had melted the plastic to create the new rock material. But, as LiveScience reports, the researchers revealed that the lava hadn’t flowed since before plastics were first invented, suggesting our waste was definitely to blame.

It’s not great news, especially given the fact today is World Environment Day. Hey Earth, to celebrate, we’ve made you a new type of rock that will NEVER break down. You’re welcome.

Source-ScienceAlert