May 3 - Pacific Garbage Patch May be Substantially Larger than Previously Recognized

Algalita Marine Research Foundation marine debris expert Charles Moore has reported after initial new surveys of the North Pacific Gyre that it may now encompass an area greater than that of the United States. The initial survey suggests that the Gyre is now 5 million square miles, half of which may contain plastic levels that are higher than levels of plankton.

When last surveyed in 2000, the Algalita Marine Research Foundation reported that the North Pacific Gyre--an area north of Hawaii where Pacific-wide currents create a vortex--consisted of an eastern and western lobe. New data suggested these two lobes have merged.

The majority of marine debris is land-sourced plastics which can float and present a choking hazard to birds, fish and marine mammals. At the center of the Gyre, plastic levels outweigh plankton by a factor of six!

Stay tuned for the finished data...

What You Can Do:

Keep track of the progress of our marine debris bills and write support letters to ensure they make it to the Governor's desk!

  • AB 904 (Feuer)â€"This CAW-sponsored legislation takes aim at unrecyclable food packaging, such as foamed polystyrene, that makes up a large component of marine debris.
  • AB 820 (Karnette)â€"This CAW-sponsored legislation bars the use of foamed polystyrene in state facilities.
  • AB 258 (Krekorian)â€"Directs the state to control pre-production plastic pellet ("nurdle") loss into the marine environment.
  • SB 898 (Simitian)â€"Provides for the clean-up of derelict fishing gear and creates a new resin identification code for compostable plastics.