Crowd-Sourcing Solutions to Plastic-Filled Oceans

Sylvia Earle won the 2009 TED prize for her presentation on oceans, and this year got her Mission Blue project up and rolling to create marine preserves. Earle's wish was that we all use all the means at our disposal to tell the story of oceans in peril. Surfrider Foundation has responded with a campaign that exhorts us all to Rise Above Plastics - and personally commit to measures to reduce that ocean of plastic - twice the size of the continental U.S.! - floating out in the Pacific.


Galapagos beach via tibcrhis @ flickr.

Quick hits on the plastic scourge:

1. Surfrider says more than 1 million seabirds and marine mammals die each year from ingesting or becoming entangled in plastic waste.

2. 100 million tons of plastic are swirling in the currents in an area known as the Pacific Garbage Patch.

3. A reusable water bottle can keep as many as 167 single-use plastic bottles from entering the environment.

A group of marine experts and some lucky stowaways like me are in the Galapagos this week to see the situation on the water and figure out how to move forward with putting in place more marine preserves.

As TED describes it, "One piece of Mission Blue is a sea voyage to the Galapagos Islands, April 6-10, 2010, gathering some of the world's most renowned ocean experts -- marine scientists, deep sea explorers, technology innovators, policy makers, business leaders, environmentalists, activists and artists -- for an epic adventure into the blue. Just as important, through the Mission Blue Voyage, we will seed a million-dollar fund to create more marine protected areas."

Rise Above Plastics taking the pledge is one way to be the solution.

Follow the Mission Blue adventure

Read more about Mission Blue and Rise Above Plastics at TreeHugger:
TED 2010: Sylvia Earle Gets Her Wish: Mission Blue Launches to Create Marine Reserves
PSA Shows Life in a Sea of Plastics
GREEN DEETS 008 Jack Johnson Video Interview

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