The Great Pacific Garbage Patch has been mentioned many times in the past few weeks in light of more debris from the Japan Tsunami reaching the Pacific coast of the U.S. and Canada.
While things like fishing floats, Harley-Davidsons, and even a massive 66-foot dock showing up on the coast are things to worry about in regards to what may be coming, a study released about the Garbage Patch brings to light the fact that the concentration of plastic and every day garbage has increased 100-fold in size in the last 40 years, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Miriam Goldstein, a graduate student at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego and lead author of the study, stated:
“I’m more concerned about our constant input of trash than I am about these one-time disasters. We can’t prevent terrible events like the tsunami, but dumping plastic into the ocean is something we can control and don’t do very well.”
But it seems lawmakers are more concerned with the Tsunami debris washing up on American shores than the more than 2 million tons of construction material, refrigerators, TVs, fishing boats, and a vast array of other items that will soon be joining the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, which currently about twice the size of Texas, and growing.
When a large wooden dock showed up on the Oregon Coast this past week, the Oregon Department of Parks and Recreation immediately became concerned about how to remove something so large, and also wondering what else could be floating across the Pacific Ocean. Web Pro News reports that a spokesman for the Oregon Department of Parks and Recreation stated:
“What we have is a really large, well-built dock that survived a cross-ocean voyage. It’s 66 feet long, 19 feet wide and seven feet tall, covered with reinforced concrete. We’re used to debris and trash that you can pick up and throw in a trash bag, and the occasional vessel that runs aground. Something like this, this large, this heavy, requires a little more careful handling.”
What do you think we should be doing to combat the growing Great Pacific Garbage Patch, especially with the debris from the Japan Tsunami adding to it?