More than five trillion pieces of plastic are estimated floating on the surface of the world’s oceans. It has been claimed that there is now enough plastic to form a permanent layer in the fossil record.
Month: September 2017
Another reason global warming has not been too bad yet is because the ocean absorbs most of the earth’s excess heat. But oceans are warming due to greenhouse gas emissions. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, half of the increase in ocean heat content since 1865 has occurred over the past two decades. Warmer water holds less oxygen, but the respiration rate of animals (except for marine mammals) increases with temperature, so they need more oxygen at the same time that less is available. A warmer ocean has less turnover (vertical water movements), which normally brings nutrient-rich water up from deep water to the plankton that photosynthesize near the surface. With fewer nutrients, they photosynthesize less and animals can’t get enough food.
Thousands upon thousands of volunteers combed coastal regions and waterways on International Coastal Cleanup Day for trash and waste removal. These photos by Charmaine Coimbra were taken at Estero Bluffs State Park, with volunteers from the Cayucos Land Conservancy in cooperation with the local coordinating agency, ECOSLO.
The first California coast cleanup began in the mid 1970s when an Arcata recycler operated beach cleanups in search of recyclables. Oregon, however, was the first state to organize a state-wide volunteer beach cleanup in 1984, called the “Plague of Plastics.”
The California Coastal Commission began the California Coastal Cleanup in 1985. From 1985 through 2016, 23,054,067 pounds of trash and recyclables were removed and properly disposed or recycled by 1,437, 549 volunteers, the commission reports.