Pacific Ocean

“Ocean Cleanup”

The Ocean Cleanup, which has raised $35 million in donations to fund the project, including from Salesforce.com chief executive Marc Benioff and PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel, will deploy 60 free-floating barriers in the Pacific Ocean by 2020.

Conquering Marine Debris

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.

Elephant Seals Contaminated with Mercury

Researchers at Ano Nuevo found the mercury level in the water during the molting season 17 times higher than what it is at other times of the year. That led them to look at where the mercury was coming from: the seals themselves. The molted skin takes with it some of the mercury that the seals have accumulated from the prey they eat in the ocean. Their blood and muscles have higher concentrations of mercury than would damage the nervous system of a human.