Plastic Seas Start in Your Creek

And end up in your food.

A couple of years ago I wrote a post It’s 10PM, Do You Know Where Your Trash Is?, after being distressed by the amount of plastics piled in Santa Rosa Creek.  Included in the post are some references for more information and some ways to help.

This blog post is thanks to the gracious and smart Barbra & jack Donachy. It provides an elegant explanation of what plastics do in our water.

Thanks and please help take care of our water.

Lynn Millar

Plastic Seas: From Water Bottles to Cigarette Butts, It All Becomes Tiny Particles, and It’s the Tiny Particles that are Most Deadly

Posted by Barbra & Jack Donachy on October 1, 2013

jellyfish micro purple n

This tiny jellyfish and the octopus behind it are about the size of a pencil led, translucent, and barely visible to the naked eye. Key species near the base of the food web such as herring, sardines, menhaden and mullet routinely ingest plastic fragments as they filter the water for the nutritious plankton they feed on. 

herring pacific sealife center n

Pacific herring feed by facing into the current, hanging their jaws open, and sifting out tiny plants and animals. As plastics break down into fragments – as all plastics from discarded shopping bags to cigarette butts eventually do – the fragments mix in with the rest of the planktonic drift and are consumed by small fish… which are in turn consumed by larger fish, whales, sea lions and us.

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The tethered balloon that slipped from a child’s hand

The monofilament net the fisherman left hanging on a reef

The cigarette butt that doesn’t matter

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and shopping bags,

and Christmas ribbons,

and cups used only once

and the plastic packaging

inside the shopping bags,

the throw-away toys

inside the Christmas package

the straws and the lids on the used-once cups

are smothering our oceans

and everything in our oceans

and us.

These photos were taken at the Seward Sea Life Center in Seward, Alaska. Visit an aquarium today to learn more about what you can do to help keep our oceans clean and healthy.

jelly fish n squid micro a n

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4 thoughts on “Plastic Seas Start in Your Creek

  1. I wonder if there will ever be an answer to the problem of trash. I’ve noticed that after a quarter of a mile up the trail from the trail head there is hardly any trash, while along the highways it’s terrible. And people know better!

    • It is a tough problem with so many disposable-ready over-packaged products. But it used to be hard to tell stores, “I don’t want a bag, I already have several in what I’m buying.” Now, it’s easy – and bring your own reusable bag if necessary.

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