Atlantic Ocean, The Second Garbage Patch
by kdesrochers on January 26, 2015 - 2:08pm
Most have heard of the great garbage patch found in the Pacific Ocean, however, many have not realized of the immensely large garbage build up found in the Atlantic. Richard A. Lovett illustrates the issues of the garbage found in the Atlantic in the article, “Huge Garbage Patch Found in Atlantic Too,” National Geographic News, published in March 2010, one can see the affect of having one major news story contribute to the disregard of an other. The Pacific garbage patch has been shown in news stories to be almost double the size of Texas; while people focus on this environmental disaster, an other build up is growing drastically. The size of the Atlantic garbage patch, according to Lovett, is approximately the same “distance as Cuba to Virginia”. Due to the circulation and current of water, the plastic and garbage thrown carelessly in nature can be later found harming innocent birds and marine animals found in the Atlantic Ocean. To show the opportunity people have to contribute to improving the habitats of marine animals, as well as, the general pollution issue, Lovett illustrates the work of Kara Lavender Law, “an oceanographer […] from Massachusetts”. Law has enabled over 7000 students to participate in research cruises to record the small pieces of plastic found. The pieces of trash and plastics are incredibly small but the impacts they have on nature are much greater than their size. Students in Law’s program found areas that held more than 200 000 pieces of garbage per square kilometer, though this is not even half of what has been found in the Pacific, if continuously ignored the final impact can be just as costly. Most of the trash found in the water is that of consumer related products or carelessly thrown away garbage. The point isn’t to stop consuming in order to have less trash but to realize the harm that can be done when news stories focus on greater eye-catching issues and disregard what would seem to be smaller and insignificant in comparison. As a student studying in the science program, the environment is something of interest; in order to improve the environment the smaller fixes should be looked upon instead of neglected. Sometimes trying to change the small, though the distance of Cuba to Virginia is not small, aspects in life can have a greater affect on the larger issues. For more information one can visit the National Geographic News website as it is an excellent and reliable source. National Geographic is known worldwide for all it has to do with the environment, animals, adventure, and what is critical to know in the world. I consider National Geographic to be reliable as it illustrates its sources, data, and has been sources for great information from Ancient Egypt to animal kingdoms to the food people eat since 1888.