Every Bird Matters
news and views from international bird rescue

Posts Tagged ‘trash’

September 17, 2009

Save the Bay: "Top Ten Bay Trash Hot Spots"

Just in time for Coastal Cleanup Day this coming weekend, Save the Bay has a new study out documenting the worst San Francisco Bay areas for trash.

Yes, plastic bags are among the most common types of Bay pollution. They smother wetland habitat and degrade water quality, often kill birds and other animals when they mistake bags for food or become entangled in them. Plastic also breaks up into pieces that can stay in the ecosystem for eons.

See 2009 Bay Trash Hot Spot Placemarks in a larger map

Check out the terrific public service video (above) created to draw attention to the plight of plastics in our environment.

The 2009 Bay Trash Hot Spots are San Francisco Bay shorelines and creeks where volunteers reported removing the most plastic bags on Coastal Cleanup Day 2008. On this one day alone, volunteers reported to the Ocean Conservancy that nearly 15,000 plastic bags were removed from these ten hot spots – a shocking number considering that these areas represent a very small portion of the Bay shoreline and its tributaries. In fact, Save The Bay estimates that more than one million plastic bags wind up in San Francisco Bay each year.

More info on the Save the Bay site

Info on the 25th California Coastal Cleanup day on September 19, 2009

January 14, 2008

Trashed: The oceans as a dumping ground

Forget global warming, oil spills, the mess in the Middle East and anything else that troubles you. Look to the oceans for something you should really be worried about: Trash.

Yes, the refuse from our modern life is floating around the world’s oceans and washing up on our beaches just to remind us that we’re some of the biggest pigs in the universe.

In the Pacific Ocean experts even have named an area for it: “The Great Pacific Garbage Patch.” The trash in this area collects due to a clockwise trade wind that circulates along the Pacific Rim. The area in the North Pacific Gyre accumulates garbage the same way foam gathers at the center of hot tub.

Disposal lighters, fishing line, plastic toys, fast food containers litter the ocean affecting birds and other marine life. The garbage beaches itself too, (see photo above) causing peril to pelicans and shorebirds that get tangled in the trash or injest the plastic items thinking that it may be food.

See: How ocean trash affects birds

Also see SF Chronicle story: Feds want to survey, possibly clean up vast garbage pit in Pacific

Photo by Paulo Von Borries. Brown pelican at San Gabriel River in Seal Beach, CA.