Today I am going to explain where and what the Great Pacific Garbage Patch is

Today I am going to explain where and what the Great Pacific Garbage Patch is, its impact on the environment, and what is being done to manage it.
The Great Pacific Garbage Patch is unique by its location and its characteristics. There are 5 known garbage patches throughout the world, but the Great Pacific Garbage patch is by far the biggest and is located between California and Hawaii, which is off the west coast of the states. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in 2013, constantly changing and moving water currents move all garbage debris in the Pacific Ocean into a high-pressure zone. This zone just happens to be located between California and Hawaii. The high pressure zones rotate slowly clockwise, and usually result in fair weather with light winds. The high pressure in the atmosphere and the ocean currents gather and trap the trash in this zone where over time, builds in high concentrations. According to National Geographic in 2012, 80% of the debris in the garbage patch comes from land-based activities here in North America, as well as in Asia. The garbage comes from you and me, even here in the middle of the country. Our trash we throw away goes to a landfill somewhere where wind blows it into rivers and eventually into the ocean. The other 20% comes from water water-based activities either on purpose or on accident. These include boats, offshore oil rigs, and large cargo ships. They either dump waste into the ocean or fishing gear breaks and end up there. The majority of the garbage in the garbage patch is plastic. Common items found there are plastic bags, bottle caps, plastic water bottles, styrofoam cups, and more. There is so much garbage that the patch consists of 7.7 million miles with islands of junk over 50 feet in length. Plastic is a substance that is non-biodegradable, meaning it cannot be broken down, but breaks into smaller and smaller pieces. As a result, much of the garbage is plastic so small they cannot be seen by the naked eye, which makes it impossible to determine exactly how much garbage is actually there.
The amount of garbage being so large has impacted the environment tremendously. According to Mark McCormick from One Green Planet which is an environmental organization in 2015, birds and fish mistake the broken-down small pieces of plastic for food. Albatrosses and other birds mistake the plastics as fish eggs which they then feed their babies. Sea turtles that normally eat jellyfish will eat plastic bags by mistake. Living things do not digest plastic very well and can cut open organs, resulting in the death of anything that eats it. Some creatures die within minutes while others can take years, depending on how severe it was. Still from one green planet in 2015, “around 640,000 tons of gear is discarded annually, resulting in at least 136,000 seals, sea lions, and large whales being killed each year.” This gear consists of fishing nets, which these and other animals become tangled up in, which is a death trap. Animals can become wounded, infected, or even starved. The insane amount of garbage also blocks sunlight, which is vital for plankton and algae to survive. Lack of sunlight kills plankton and algae which are an important source of food for sea creatures. This impacts the entire food chain from top to bottom.
Efforts are now being made to clean up the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. The garbage patch was discovered only discovered in 1997, so there has been very little cleanup effort up until recently. According to Ahiza Garcia from CNN in 2018, The world’s first ocean cleanup effort was launched in September of this year form San Francisco. This effort is from an organization what is called The Ocean Cleanup, founded by Boyan Slat. Boyan created a 600-meter-long floating pipe that is controlled by the ocean’s currents.

x

Hi!
I'm Dora

Would you like to get a custom essay? How about receiving a customized one?

Check it out
x

Hi!
I'm Barry!

Would you like to get a custom essay? How about receiving a customized one?

Check it out