SEA Currents: News
Microplastics – microscopic particles of plastic debris – are of increasing concern because of their widespread presence in the oceans and the potential physical and toxicological risks they pose to organisms.
This is the view of two of the world’s most eminent authorities on the subject, Professor Kara Lavender Law, of Sea Education Association (Woods Hole, MA), and Professor Richard Thompson of Plymouth University (UK).
In an article published today in the journal Science, the two scientists have called for urgent action to “turn off the tap” and divert plastic waste away from the marine environment.
SEA Semester® undergraduates aid collection efforts informing plastic “garbage patch” studies in Pacific Ocean
An estimated 21,290 metric tons of plastic particles are currently floating in the North Pacific subtropical gyre, with a mass equivalent to 132 Boeing 747 airplanes or 120 blue whales. This estimate, the most complete and accurate evaluation of Pacific Ocean plastic pollution to date, comes from eleven years of plastic debris collection and the efforts of over 1,700 undergraduate students studying abroad with SEA Semester, operated by Sea Education Association (SEA) in Woods Hole, Massachusetts.