Event Title

Environmental Effects of Garbage Island

Location

CSU Ballroom

Start Date

21-4-2014 10:00 AM

End Date

21-4-2014 11:30 AM

Student's Major

Biological Sciences

Student's College

Science, Engineering and Technology

Mentor's Name

Marilyn Hart

Mentor's Email Address

marilyn.hart@mnsu.edu

Mentor's Department

Biological Sciences

Mentor's College

Science, Engineering and Technology

Description

Vast amounts of garbage accumulate in the gyres of the Pacific Ocean and impact the environment, marine life and wildlife located on nearby islands. First discovered in 1972, the island patch is made up of microscopic particles of plastic, mostly polypropylene. Entanglement of fishing lines and ingestion of these particles cause injury or death of approximately 267 species worldwide that includes 86% of all sea turtles, 44% of all seabird species, 43% of all marine mammal species and numerous fish and crustacean species. Project Kaisei has conducted clean up attempts and surveys of the Pacific gyre. The clean up efforts have had little effect on large-scale garbage patches. Other solutions would be to stop using plastics or devise a new version of plastic that is less harmful to the environment. However, plastic has become a vital part of society, which consumers and manufacturers rely on. Of ethical concern is that despite worldwide use of plastic, no one claims ownership of the oceans and therefore responsibility. Who should clean up the mess and how? Who will take ownership and take steps to improving an ecosystem we rely upon for food and consumer goods? In this study, current strategies to clean up our oceans will be addressed.

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Apr 21st, 10:00 AM Apr 21st, 11:30 AM

Environmental Effects of Garbage Island

CSU Ballroom

Vast amounts of garbage accumulate in the gyres of the Pacific Ocean and impact the environment, marine life and wildlife located on nearby islands. First discovered in 1972, the island patch is made up of microscopic particles of plastic, mostly polypropylene. Entanglement of fishing lines and ingestion of these particles cause injury or death of approximately 267 species worldwide that includes 86% of all sea turtles, 44% of all seabird species, 43% of all marine mammal species and numerous fish and crustacean species. Project Kaisei has conducted clean up attempts and surveys of the Pacific gyre. The clean up efforts have had little effect on large-scale garbage patches. Other solutions would be to stop using plastics or devise a new version of plastic that is less harmful to the environment. However, plastic has become a vital part of society, which consumers and manufacturers rely on. Of ethical concern is that despite worldwide use of plastic, no one claims ownership of the oceans and therefore responsibility. Who should clean up the mess and how? Who will take ownership and take steps to improving an ecosystem we rely upon for food and consumer goods? In this study, current strategies to clean up our oceans will be addressed.

Recommended Citation

Gronewold, Katy. "Environmental Effects of Garbage Island." Undergraduate Research Symposium, Mankato, MN, April 21, 2014.
http://cornerstone.lib.mnsu.edu/urs/2014/poster_session_A/12