New Florida Governor To Implement Major Water Reforms With Billions Of Dollars – Sea Voice News

seavoicenews.com
by Alex Larson

Florida is facing one of the countries biggest crisis as their water quality continues to grow worse and worse. And finally, after eight years of hopelessly waiting, the new governor plans to take the state’s water quality seriously and put some real money towards the problem.

Ron Desantis announced the move while the state of Florida is still seeing the effects of one of their worst red tide blooms on record. The move is a multifaceted executive order on water policy vastly different from the new governors predecessor. On top of that, Desantis also fired the entire board of the South Florida Water Management after they have failed to protect the states water.

The plan includes to spend $2.5 billion to restore the Everglades and protect its water, a blue-green algae task force, creating a chief science officer position, phasing out septic tanks, putting teeth in environmental crime enforcement and creating an office of resilience and coastal protection to fund and coordinate response to rising sea levels.

While Desantis is known for being a very conservative Republican, the positive conservation steps forward are a stark difference from the previous administration whom banned state employees from using the words climate change or global warming in official communication.

DeSantis called his executive order the “most comprehensive, boldest actions that we have seen in Florida in a long time. … We can solve a lot of these problems, but it has got to begin now.”

Sierra Club Florida Chapter Director Frank Jackalone said DeSantis in his first week “has done more to address Florida’s water quality crisis than (former) Gov. Rick Scott did in eight years.”

But Jackalone said concerns remain over a “poorly designed” Everglades-area reservoir and the lack of a direct mention of climate change in DeSantis’ order. Also, he said more details are needed about the order’s stated opposition to offshore oil and gas drilling and opposition to the controversial drilling process known as fracking.

DeSantis, who campaigned as a critic of the Big Sugar farmers, said he is working with the White House and U.S. Army Corps to end the massive water releases from Lake Okeechobee. Residents living along the St. Lucie and Caloosahatchee estuaries have blamed the discharges of polluted water from the lake for toxic algae outbreaks which has caused some of the biggest algae blooms to waterways and coastal waters.

While Desantis failed to mention anything about climate change, he did say the state needs to be “ahead of the curve” on increased flooding and rising waters, which will be a job of the Office of Resilience and Coastal Protection.

http://seavoicenews.com/2019/01/14/new-florida-governor-to-implement-major-water-reforms-with-billions-of-dollars/

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Ocean Plastic Is Expected To Triple By 2025 – Sea Voice News

seavoicenews.com

by Alex Larson →

Plastic pollution remains one of the biggest threats to our oceans along with rising seas levels, climate change, human-made chemical pollution, and agricultural runoff.

In a new report titled Foresight Future of the Sea by the UK Government Office for Science, discovered that the amount of plastic in the ocean could triple by the year 2025.

Currently, there is already over 5.25 trillion pieces of plastic trash in the world’s ocean and with the current amount expected to triple in such a short time, we need to address the reality of what we have created.

The report warns that the current health of the oceans could have some cruel implications for biodiversity, noting that there is already a 49% decline in marine vertebrate populations between 1970 and 2012.

The world is slowly starting to wake up to our plastic problem but we still use way too much on a global scale. Walk into any super market or restaurant and pay attention to the amount of single-use plastic being used and quickly, it becomes evident how vast our addiction has become.

Governments have started to implement bans on plastic items but not yet on a scale that we need. One of the authors’ primary recommendations is to reduce plastic pollution in the sea through the development of new biodegradable plastics and public awareness campaigns. The authors note that that the UK and the world need to seriously reassess the way it manages the ocean.

Recent reports have started to identify just how troubling plastic pollution has become. Last week, a separate report found that 93 percent of major brand bottled water contained microplastics inside of the bottled water.

The time is now to reduce plastic waste. Governments need to start identifying how to reduce waste but it also starts at a personal level. Every decision a person makes to say to no to plastic is decision that is positively impacting our environment.

http://seavoicenews.com/2018/03/21/ocean-plastic-is-expected-to-triple-by-2025/

Florida To Introduce Bill That Would Ban Smoking On Public Beaches – Sea Voice News

seavoicenews.com
by Alex Larson →

A new bill has been introduced that aims to reduce cigarettes on Florida beaches. Sarasota House Republican Joe Gruters is looking for the state to bank smoking on all public beaches through bill SB218, which would fine first-time violators $25 or 10 hours of community service.

If Florida passes the bill, it would go into effect July 1st, 2019.

The bill may face potential problems as this isn’t the first time representatives have tried to restrict smoking on beaches in Florida. In 2017, a law that was in place for five years and banned smoking in Sarasota County public parks and beaches was tossed out by a judge whom declared it unconstitutional on the grounds that local jurisdictions couldn’t ban something that was legal on a state level.

Hopefully though, with the potential ban being state wide this time, there will not be another loop-hole that would allow the bill to be thrown out if it does get through the legislatures.

Florida would not be the only state with this ban in place as New Jersey recently banned smoking in public beaches which carries a fine of $250.00

Cigarette butt continue to be the largest single polluter in the ocean damaging habitats, poisoning fish and costing tax dollars for cleanup and disposal, according to environmental experts.

Outside of direct pollution on the beach, cigarettes make their way to the sea due to countless storm drains, streams and rivers around the world. The waste often disintegrates into microplastics easily consumed by wildlife. Researchers have found the detritus in some 70 percent of seabirds and 30 percent of sea turtles.

As Florida holds some of the most visited and popular beaches in the world, banning smoking would be a huge win in helping to contain ocean pollution.

http://seavoicenews.com/2019/01/03/florida-to-introduce-bill-that-would-ban-smoking-on-public-beaches/

US Senator Wyden: Trump DOE Wants To Reinterpret Statutory Definition Of High-Level Nuclear Waste – Comment Deadline Wednesday Night 11:59 PM ET

Mining Awareness +

Comment here till Wednesday, January 9, 2019, 1159 pm Eastern Time (DC, NYC, etc): https://www.regulations.gov/document?D=DOE_FRDOC_0001-3696

See more here: https://miningawareness.wordpress.com/2019/01/06/trump-perry-doe-plan-to-reclassify-high-level-nuclear-waste-as-low-level-through-an-orwellian-stroke-of-a-pen-comment-by-wed-night-1159-pm-eastern-time-january-9th/

US Senator “Wyden said DOE’s push to reinterpret the definition of high-level radioactive waste is of great importance to Oregonians because the department’s Hanford Reservation in Washington is on the banks of the Columbia River. Hanford contains the largest share of DOE’s high-level radioactive waste inventory – about 56 million gallons stored in 177 underground storage tanks, Wyden wrote.

The senator noted that DOE proposes to reinterpret not just its own definition of high-level waste, but also the statutory definition of high-level waste.  Wyden wrote that narrowing the scope of what’s considered high-level waste “is departing from longstanding policies and legal interpretations.”

He wrote that “lowering the bar for level of protection of future generations and the environment by changing the definition of what has always been considered high-level…

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2018: A Year of Fighting Plastic Waste

ecowatch.com
Olivia Rosane

Large recycled plastic fish sculpture in Helsingor situated infront of the Kronborg Castle in Helsingor in Denmark in July 28th 2017. James D. Morgan / Getty Images

The plastic pollution crisis has been building for some time now, to the point where around eight million tons of plastic enter the world’s oceans each year.

In response, a movement to cut down on plastic waste has also been gaining momentum, but 2018 was the year it really picked up speed, with everyone from ordinary tourists to major companies to the Queen of England lending their hands to push it along.

Part of the movement’s success in 2018 was because of something that happened at the end of last year. Famed British naturalist David Attenborough aired his new BBC series Blue Planet II, which featured a heartbreaking image of an albatross feeding a plastic toothpick to its young.

Albatrosses are ingesting plastic – Blue Planet II: Episode 7 Preview – BBC One http://www.youtube.com

“Never before have we been so aware of what we are doing to our planet—and never before have we had such power to do something about it,” he wrote at the close of 2017. “Surely we have a responsibility to care for the planet on which we live?”

Here is a brief timeline of how we answered his question in 2018.

January: The year began auspiciously when, early in January, a ban on microbeads entered into force in the UK. Microbeads were common in personal care products, but they washed down drains into every body of water in the world, where marine life ate them by mistake, moving them up the ocean food web to larger marine mammals and, eventually, to us. In the U.S., former President Barack Obama had already signed legislation phasing out the manufacturing of products containing microbeads by July 2017 and the sale of these products by July 2018.

February: The fight against plastic gained a very distinguished ally early in the year when Queen Elizabeth II banned plastic straws and bottles on all royal properties, including visitor cafes. The Queen was reportedly inspired by working with Attenborough on Blue Planet II.

March: You don’t need to be a world-famous naturalist to raise awareness about plastic pollution. British diver Rich Horner raised a lot when a video he had posted on Facebook went viral. The video showed Horner swimming in plastic-filled water off of Bali’s Manta Point. Horner used the opportunity to encourage people to cut down on single use plastics and to correctly recycle the plastic they do use.

The ocean currents brought us in a lovely gift today… http://www.youtube.com

April: On Sunday, April 22, the world celebrated Earth Day. This year’s focus? Ending plastic pollution by 2020. “An aroused public can overcome a powerful economic interest, but only when the issue is felt intensely. Until ending ‘one-way’ plastics becomes a political priority around the world, [their manufacture] will continue unabated. Meanwhile, we nevertheless each should ‘be the change we want to see,'” Earth Day founder Denis Hayes said in an interview.

May: Chile’s congress unanimously approved a nation-wide ban on plastic bags at the end of the month, making Chile the first country in the Americas to do so. The law gave major retailers one year and smaller businesses two years to phase out the bags. Around 95 percent of Chileans supported their government’s decision.

#ChaoBolsasPlásticas http://www.youtube.com

June: June was a big month for corporate action on single-use plastics as companies like SeaWorld parks, American Express, cruise company Royal Caribbean, IKEA, A&W Canada and Burger King UK all pledged to phase out items like straws, stirrers, lids and bags. World governments also joined in when Canada, France, Germany, Italy, the UK and the EU endorsed the G7 Ocean Plastics Charter. The charter set goals for reducing unnecessary plastics and encouraging recycling, but the U.S. and Japan refused to sign.

July: In July, bans on plastic straws specifically took off. A city-wide ban on plastic straws and utensils in Seattle went into effect July 1, About a week later, one of Seattle’s most famous companies followed suit when Starbucks became the largest food and beverage retailer to ban plastic straws, promising to remove them from all locations by 2020. However, the disability community raised important concerns about the straw bans. They pointed out that many people with disabilities rely on plastic straws’ mix of strength and flexibility to dine out independently and asked that the bans be flexible as well. “We don’t have to choose between making the world more sustainable or making it more accessible,” disability advocate Karin Hitselberger wrote.

August: France worked to up its commitment to fighting plastic pollution by announcing a series of policy changes this August. Next year, items without recyclable packaging could cost as much as 10 percent more, while items with recyclable packaging could cost 10 percent less. The measures also included upping taxes for landfills, reducing taxes for recycling and implementing a refund for turning in plastic bottles. All of this is to further the country’s goal of recycling 100 percent of plastic by 2025.

September: The Ocean Cleanup launched this month from San Francisco in an attempt to clean up the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, a mass of ocean trash twice the size of Texas. The plastic-removing method, developed by Boyan Slat of the Netherlands when he was still a teenager, hasn’t worked effectively yet, but Slat is not ready to give up and continues to troubleshoot.

Boyan Slat explains the challenges ahead for System 001 http://www.youtube.com

October: This month some of the biggest plastic polluting companies in the world, such as Coca-Cola, Nestlé, Unilever and H&M, joined forces with more than 250 governments, businesses and organizations to sign the “New Plastics Economy Global Commitment” to make all plastic packaging reusable, recyclable or compostable by 2025.

November: In a testament to how successful the movement against plastic pollution was in 2018, Collins Dictionary named “single-use” their word of the year. The dictionary said use of the word had jumped four fold since 2013. “Single-use refers to products—often plastic—that are ‘made to be used once only’ before disposal. Images of plastic adrift in the most distant oceans, such as straws, bottles, and bags have led to a global campaign to reduce their use,” Collins wrote of its decision.

December: 2018 ended on a positive note for the fight against plastic waste when the EU got one step closer to an agreement to reduce or ban several single-use plastic items. The plan was first introduced by the European Commission in May and targets items like cigarette butts, straws, bottles, cutlery and cotton buds. EU’s parliament and council have reached a provisional agreement to move the plan forward.

https://www.ecowatch.com/2018-fighting-plastic-waste-2624606566.html?utm_source=EcoWatch+List&utm_campaign=c669446345-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_COPY_01&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_49c7d43dc9-c669446345-86074753

Call for a Plastic-Free Future – Greenpeace International

Remember your first toothbrush, it’s probably still out there!

We are calling on people around the world to create a “Million Acts of Blue”

Actions to push retailers, corporations and businesses to reduce single-use plastic. It’s going to take communities both large and small to tackle the scale of the current plastic pollution crisis, we all have a role to play. Every action to reduce single-use plastic sends a message to the industry that it’s time to change. We can no longer allow products that are used for a few seconds to pollute our planet for a lifetime.

For a plastic – free future go here to download the app and get more information…

https://www.greenpeace.org/international/act/lets-end-the-age-of-plastic/

Action Alert: Gray wolf delisting Bill could make it into a large spending bill before Congress.

Wolves of Douglas County Wisconsin

It’s unlikely that a senate version of the House H.R. 6784 will make into the senate. It barely passed the House, but could now be added to spending bills as a rider.

During a town hall meeting in Rhinelander Friday, Congressman Sean Duffy was asked about the bill which he authored which would return wolf management to the states.

The bill passed the U.S. House, but Duffy said it is unlikely to make it through the Senate…

“…I can’t get a stand-alone bill out of the (U.S.) Senate. A lot of Senators, Democrats and Republicans who say they support it don’t want to work for it. You can look at who that is yourself. I’m trying to get it into the end of the year Omnibus package to pass with this big spending bill….”

This bill will go in to large ominous spending bills as riders and would return Gray…

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Remember that $20 million ocean cleanup project? It isn’t working.

grist.org
By Paola Rosa-Aquino on Dec 26, 2018

The $20 million effort to clean up the Great Pacific Garbage Patch has hit a bit of a snafu.

Organizers for The Ocean Cleanup, which launched the project in September, already had their work cut out for them — the floating garbage patch is made up of an estimated 1.8 trillion pieces of plastic, which has coalesced into a field of debris twice the size of Texas, weighing in at 88,000 tons (that’s the equivalent of 500 jumbo jets, yikes).

In order to clean up the massive garbage island, engineers at the non-government organization built a U-shaped barrier, which they hoped would act like a coastline, trapping the plastic floating in large swathes of the patch. The system can communicate its whereabouts at all times, allowing a support vessel to come by periodically to pick up all the junk in the device’s trunk, so to speak, for recycling.

The highly anticipated endeavor deployed out of San Francisco in September, when the floating device — known as System 001 or Wilson — was towed out to the island of rubbish located between California and Hawaii. The goal of The Ocean Cleanup is to remove up to 50 percent of plastics in the area within five years.

But so far, the giant garbage catcher is having issues holding on to plastic waste.

George Leonard, chief scientist of the Ocean Conservancy, a non-profit environmental advocacy says the organization’s goal is admirable, but can’t be the only solution to ocean plastics pollution. He said a solution must include a multi-pronged approach, including stopping plastic from reaching the ocean in the first place. Humans dump more than 8 million tons of trash into the ocean each year — the equivalent of one dump truck full of plastic every minute.

“The clock is ticking; we must confront this challenge before plastics overwhelm the ocean,” Leonard said.

The Ocean Cleanup Fonder Boyan Slat said the slow speed of the solar-powered 600-meter long barrier isn’t allowing it to scoop up plastic from the swirling trash island. Over the next few weeks, a crew of engineers will make tweaks to the system. Slat says it’s all part of the process when you take on a project this ambitious (Forbes called it “the world’s largest ocean cleanup”).

In a statement released on December 20, Slat said that he always expected it was going to be a bit of an ongoing experiment. “What we’re trying to do has never been done before,” he said. “For the beta phase of [the] technology, this is already a success.”

https://grist.org/science/remember-that-20-million-garbage-cleanup-project-it-isnt-working/

I Went to the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. This is What I Saw.

Plastic planet is a series on the global plastics crisis that evaluates the environmental and human cost and considers possible solution to this devastating man-made problem. In this piece, Alli Mahoney, Teen Vogue News and Politics Features Editor, describes her experience in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.

The great Pacific Garbage patch (GPGP) a site of marine debris is considered to be twice the size of Texas, is perhaps the foremost expression of the impact of plastic waste on our world and the role of humans in environmental degradation.

Continue reading here…

https://www.teenvogue.com/story/i-went-to-the-great-pacific-garbage-patch/amp?__twitter_impression=true

Ocean Cleanup’s Plan to Remove 88,000 Tons of Plastic From the Pacific Garbage Patch Has Just Begun!

onegreenpeace.org
Aleksandra Pajda

Earlier this year, the non-profit The Ocean Cleanup was getting ready to put its system designed to remove plastic pollution from the ocean in motion. Now, the innovative technology is finally setting sail for the Great Pacific Garbage Patch and starting its important work with a two-week trial. With steady development, the organization hopes to remove as much as half of the 88,000 tons of plastic from the garbage patch in just five years.

On September 10th, the organization started towing its “Ocean Cleanup System 001” from San Francisco to a trial site which is located about 240 nautical miles (260 miles) away, Endgadget reports. The system will now be pushed by the winds and waves into a U-shape and start drifting on its own, marking the beginning of the test run. While the huge tube will float on the surface, a 10-foot long skirt hanging below will collect pieces of plastic from the water. Large pieces of plastic aren’t the only bits that the system can catch, the specially designed skirt can collect pieces as small as just a millimeter in size. Throughout the process, boats will help scoop out plastics from the system and deliver them to a recycling plant.

The entirety of the system will be monitored throughout the trial period in order to make sure that it fulfills its role and does not harm plankton nor any other marine life. After two weeks, the structure will be towed another 900 nautical miles to begin its main mission: cleaning up the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.

The Ocean Cleanup, founded in 2013 by Boyan Slat, hopes that System 001 can remove about 55 tons of plastic from the ocean per year. In comparison with the current size of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch – which is made of some 88,000 tons of waste – this number may seem small, but the organization wants to eventually create 60 systems which together would be able to extract half of the garbage patch debris every five years. Deployed in this way, the technology would have an immensely positive impact on the waters – and, hopefully, it will be able to develop to the projected size.

The Great Pacific Garbage Patch is estimated to consist of around 1.8 trillion pieces of plastic. Over 8.8 million tons of plastic waste enters the already polluted oceans every year. This reality will not change unless we actively work to change it. To find out how you can help in your everyday life, check out One Green Planet’s #CrushPlastic campaign!

http://www.onegreenplanet.org/news/ocean-cleanups-plan-remove-88000-tons-plastic-pacific-garbage-patch-just-begun/

Image source: The Ocean Cleanup/Facebook

Petition: Now Japan Wants to Legalize Commercial Whaling!

by: Care2 Team
recipient: International Whaling Commission

20,836 SUPPORTERS – 25,000 GOAL
“There couldn’t be a better opportunity” — that’s how one Japanese government official replied when asked about the prospects of legalizing and expanding whale hunting. The Japanese government hopes to weaken the current ban on commercial whaling as they chair this year’s International Whaling Commission (IWC) going on now until the September 14 in Florianopolis, Brazil.

But as you know, Japan doesn’t need to weaken the commercial whaling ban to hunt whales, because even though the ban has been in place since 1986, the country has continually ignored it. In fact, Japan has fictitiously given themselves the authority to grant their whalers “waivers” that have allowed them to continue slaughtering whales in the name of “science.”

Earlier this year, several news outlets revealed that Japan had killed more than 333 minke whales in the Southern Ocean already in 2018. 120 of them were pregnant females. If that wasn’t outrageous enough, new information from the World Wildlife Fund suggests that 50 of the whales murdered in the Antarctic were taken inside of a marine refuge established specifically to help marine wildlife like whales, seals and penguins thrive.

Now, Japan wants to be granted permission to kill more whales on an even wider scale. Further endangering these species and paying no price for flouting the law. Japan and other whaling countries like Norway and Iceland have together killed nearly 40,000 whales since 1986. If the IWC decides to grant them more leeway to hunt more whales imagine the damage they could do.

Stand up and tell the IWC that people from all around the world want them to continue to protect whales from commercial hunting. Sign the petition and demand that the IWC deny Japan’s request to expand whaling rights.

https://www.thepetitionsite.com/takeaction/599/249/939/

Photo credit : Christopher Michel

 

Campaign | Oceana

oceana.org
Campaign | Oceana
2-3 minutes

The oceans face a massive and growing threat from something you encounter everyday: plastics. An estimated 17.6 billion pounds of plastic leaks into the marine environment from land-based sources every year—this is roughly equivalent to dumping a garbage truck full of plastic into the oceans every minute.

A garbage truck’s-worth of plastic ends up
in the ocean every minute

As plastics continue to flood into our oceans, the list of marine species affected by plastic debris expands. Tens of thousands of individual marine organisms have been observed suffering from entanglement or ingestion of plastics permeating the marine environment—from zooplankton and fish, to sea turtles, marine mammals and seabirds.

Plastics never go away. Instead, they break down into smaller and smaller pieces, which act as magnets for harmful pollutants. When eaten by fish, some of those chemical-laden microplastics can work their way up the food chain and into the fish we eat.

Plastics in our oceans threaten the viability of critical marine ecosystems, but marine plastic pollution is not just a problem for our oceans. The extent to which we, too, are being affected by the plastics that have become so ubiquitous in our environment—in our food, water and air—is a topic of extensive research.

Unfortunately, one of the most popular solutions to plastic pollution falls far short. A meager 9 percent of all the plastic produced has been recycled. Recycling alone is not enough to solve the plastics crisis. To have an impact, we must reduce the amount of single-use plastic being produced at the source. Oceana’s plastics campaign will urge companies to adopt alternatives for single-use plastic packaging.

https://oceana.org/our-campaigns/plastics?utm_campaign=Advo&utm_content=20180813PlasticsTweet&utm_source=Twitter&utm_medium=Social&utm_id=LPghIAIuvUvUEM

Study Finds 73% of Deep Water Fish Ingested Microplastics

Our Plastic Pollution Is Infecting Marine Life Over 7 Miles Down in the Ocean | One Green Planet

Our Plastic Pollution Is Infecting Marine Life Over 7 Miles Down in the Ocean

Aleksandra Pajda
November 15, 2017

Plastic waste that finds its way into the oceans often ends up floating on the water’s surface. It makes up huge isles of marine debris, like the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, and it enables nature photographers to take pictures of the ocean water that nearly do not feature that water at all – because it is fully covered with a layer of trash. But plastic does not only accumulate on the oceans’ surface. According to the newest research, plastic pollution now reaches even the very deepest parts of the oceans – and it is found in the stomachs of deep-sea creatures living even seven miles under the surface.

This data concerning the pervasiveness of plastic waste in the oceans was released on behalf of Sky Ocean Rescue. The study was led by academics at Newcastle University and it found that animals from the deepest parts of the Pacific Ocean were contaminated with fibers that most likely came from plastic bottles and packaging as well as synthetic clothing.

According to Dr, Alan Jamieson, leader of the study, the findings prove that there is no place on our planet free from plastic pollution anymore. “There is now no doubt that plastics pollution is so pervasive that nowhere – no matter how remote – is immune,” Jamieson told the Guardian. At the same time, he underlined the need for action heavily.

During the study, samples of crustaceans found in the deepest trenches across the Pacific Ocean – the Mariana, Japan, Izu-Bonin, Peru-Chile, New Hebrides, and Kermadec trenches were tested. The trenches range from four to more than six miles deep. They also include the deepest point in the ocean, Challenger Deep in the Mariana Trench.

The researchers examined 90 individual animals – and found that ingestion of plastic ranged from 50 percent in the New Hebrides Trench to 100 percent at the bottom of the Mariana Trench.

“The deep sea is not only the ultimate sink for any material that descends from the surface, but it is also inhabited by organisms well adapted to a low food environment and these will often eat just about anything,” Jamieson said and explained that deep-sea organisms are dependent on food “raining down from the surface which in turn brings any adverse components, such as plastic and pollutants with it.”

“Isolating plastic fibers from inside animals from nearly 11 kilometers deep [seven miles] just shows the extent of the problem. Also, the number of areas we found this in, and the thousands of kilometer distances involved shows it is not just an isolated case, this is global,” he said.

Every year, around 8.8 million tons of plastic waste gets dumped into the oceans. This waste does not cease to exist – it accumulates and goes on to affect the environment and the organisms living, as the study shows, in exactly every part and every layer of the oceans. “These observations are the deepest possible record of microplastic occurrence and ingestion, indicating it is highly likely there are no marine ecosystems left that are not impacted by anthropogenic debris.” Putting an end to the overflow of plastic waste in the oceans will require cooperation from governments and big businesses – but it also requires action from all of us as consumers. Our personal choices do make a difference and we can make it a difference for the better.

http://www.onegreenplanet.org/news/plastic-pollution-impacts-marine-animals-seven-miles-in-the-ocean/?utm_source=Green+Monster+Mailing+List&utm_campaign=8ed1af5fd5-NEWSLETTER_EMAIL_CAMPAIGN&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_bbf62ddf34-8ed1af5fd5-106049477

To learn how to help the planet by producing less plastic waste, check out One Green Planet’s #CrushPlastic campaign!

Pollution Kills More People Than Anything Else! #StopAdani #COP23 #Qldvotes 

jpratt27

Dying from war, smoking, hunger & natural disasters turns out to be nothing compared to deaths from pollution, which kills nine million people a year.
The most comprehensive report to date on the health effects of environmental pollution shows that filthy air, contaminated water and other polluted parts of our environment kill more people worldwide each year than almost everything else combined – smoking, hunger, natural disasters, war, murder, AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria.
It’s no wonder then that the number of contaminated water-related deaths in Puerto Rico is expected to climb into the thousands.
In addition to the human tragedy, this pollution costs us well over $4 trillion in annual losses, or 6% of global GDP.


According to the study, 9 million people every year, one in every six premature deaths, are caused by diseases from toxic exposures in the environment.

That’s 20 times more than all wars.

Dr. Philip…

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Petition · Secretary Ryan Zinke: Stop the waste and protect our health · Change.org


https://www.change.org/p/secretary-ryan-zinke-stop-the-waste-and-protect-our-health?source_location=petition_footer&algorithm=promoted&grid_position=1&pt=AVBldGl0aW9uAMKRwQAAAAAAWgN8sf424oQxMTljMjRmMw%3D%3D

A sea of plastic trash hovers near Caribbean island :TreeHugger


https://www.treehugger.com/slideshows/ocean-conservation/sea-plastic-trash-hovers-near-caribbean-island/page/2/

700 Marine Species Might Go Extinct Because of Plastic Pollution. Here Are 5 Ways You Can Help! | One Green Planet

plastic-trash-oceans-marine-animals-768x514

Plastic. It’s everywhere.

From food packaging to fabrics and face wash, this modern “miracle” invention can be found in some shape or form in nearly all of the products that we purchase and use. While this might be convenient for us, that is about where the accolades of this material end.

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, in one year alone, the U.S. produces a staggering 32 million tons of plastic waste and only around nine percent is recovered for recycling. This means the majority of plastics end up in landfills and much of it never makes it that far; plastic also has a tendency to wind up in local waterways and our oceans. While we might understand that plastic pollution in the world’s oceans is not a good thing, we are only just beginning to realize the impact that plastics have on marine ecosystems.

There are an estimated 270,000 tons of plastic floating on the surface of the ocean and according to a recent study authored by researchers at Plymouth University, a staggering 700 different marine species are threatened by its presence. More than this, researchers believe that plastic plays a role in rising rates of species extinction.

Research found that 693 species had been documented as having encountered plastic debris, with nearly 400 involving entanglement and ingestion. Between entanglement, ingestion and ecosystem damage, the threat of plastic pollution impacts marine species both large and small.

“We found that all known species of sea turtle, and more than half of all species of marine mammal and seabird had been affected by marine debris – and that number has risen since the last major study,” explains Sarah Gall, one of the report’s authors.

We have seen around 52 percent of the world’s wildlife disappear in the past 40 years, and if we continue to dump plastic into the world’s oceans, this number is set to increase exponentially. The good news is that we can all help turn the tides for marine animals. Although humans are to blame for plastic pollution, this means we also have the power to stop this marine destruction. So, if you want to stand up for the world’s marine animals, the best place to start is with your personal plastic consumption. Check out these five ways you can help save marine species now!

  1. Replace all Disposables With Reusables

Think about your daily routine – how many times do you use something that is made of plastic and disposable? Water bottles, plastic utensils, to-go containers, straws, Q-tips, toothbrush. You probably don’t even realize how many disposable items you use every day, plastic can be a sneaky thing! While they might not seem very significant, remember that every piece of plastic you throw out has the potential to wind up in the ocean. Luckily, there are reusable alternatives to virtually all of the disposable plastics you might use. Check out ReUseIt and start kicking plastic out of your routine!

  1. Swear off Plastic Bags

By now, you’ve probably caught on to the reusable grocery bag trend. This is a great place to start, but there are many other places where plastic bags show up on a daily basis. In fact, it is estimated that the average American throws out 10 plastic bags a week! When plastic bags make their way into the oceans, marine animals can easily ingest them, which causes gastrointestinal blockages and other serious health problems. To help keep plastic bags out of the oceans and away from marine animals, carry a reusable bag where ever you go – not just the grocery store! You can purchase convenient reusable bags that roll up to fit easily in your pocket or purse.

  1. Check Personal Products for Microbeads

Have you checked your toothpaste and face wash for plastic? Certain exfoliants and “deep-cleaning” toothpastes actually contain tiny plastic microbeads. These small beads easily travel through water filtration systems and end up in lakes, streams, and the ocean. One single tube of face wash can contain around 300,000 of these plastic beads.

Studies have found thousands of plastic beads in the stomachs of fish and other aquatic animals. These plastics leach toxins and can cause digestive issues in animals. Not to mention, these plastics can travel up the food chain and research shows that the fish many people eat actually contain plastic.

Be sure to check your personal care products for microbeads. You can even download this handy app to find out if the products you use contain these sneaky beads.

  1. Avoid Synthetic Fabrics

While you may know that synthetic clothing and materials aren’t made of natural fibers, did you know they are actually derived from plastic? Rayon, polyester and nylon fabrics are made of thousands of tiny, plastic microfibers. Although these garments are versatile and easy to clean, they leach plastic fibers every time they go through the washing machine. Nearly 1,900 microfibers are released from a single synthetic garment every single time you wash it!

Like microbeads, microfibers can pass through water treatment plants unaltered and enter into waterways and the ocean where they are ingested by marine species. According to ecologist Mark Browne, worldwide, around 100,000 marine animals accidentally consume plastics, like microfibers, spreading toxins through the ecosystem.

While it might be difficult to avoid synthetic fabrics, reducing the number of new items you purchase is a great way to lower the amount of microfibers you’re adding to the water system. Opt for high-quality natural fabrics like linen, hemp or soy silk over synthetics. Check out this article for some other great, planet-friendly options.

  1. Learn to Live Waste-Free

Achieving a 100 percent waste-free lifestyle is challenging, but it is certainly not impossible. Just take a page from Lauren Singer, the 23-year-old who can store all the waste she’s produced in the past two years in a single mason jar! Finding new ways to avoid plastics by making your own food or beauty products will not only make you feel incredibly accomplished, but it can save you money and help keep tons of plastic out of the oceans. To learn more about how to make your life a little less wasteful, check out these resources:

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http://www.onegreenplanet.org/environment/marine-species-extinction-and-plastic-pollution/

‘Trash Isles’ apply to United Nations as Great Pacific garbage patch tries to become country | Miami Herald

Plastic garbage is displayed prior to a press conference of the Ocean Cleanup foundation in Utrecht, Netherlands, Thursday, May 11, 2017. The foundation aiming to rid the world’s oceans of plastic says it will start cleaning up the huge patch of floating junk known as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch within the next 12 months, two years ahead of schedule.
Plastic garbage is displayed prior to a press conference of the Ocean Cleanup foundation in Utrecht, Netherlands, Thursday, May 11, 2017. The foundation aiming to rid the world’s oceans of plastic says it will start cleaning up the huge patch of floating junk known as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch within the next 12 months, two years ahead of schedule. Peter Dejong AP
World
The latest nation to apply to the UN: An ocean garbage patch with 115,000 ‘citizens’

By Greg Hadley 

September 21, 2017 11:14 AM

The Great Pacific garbage patch, a swirling pile of pollution and discarded plastics between California and Japan, is made up of millions of pieces of trash and tiny plastics and has been estimated to be anywhere from the size of Texas to twice the size of the continental United States.

Now, a group of activists is hoping to make those comparisons to countries and states a bit more literal.

According to Quartz, enviromental advocates have started a petition to have the garbage patch officially recognized by the United Nations as a country, formally known as the Trash Isles. They even have designed a flag, passport and currency, appropriately named “debris.”

So far, the group has more than 115,000 signatures on its petition urging the U.N. to accept the Trash Isles as a nation and volunteering to be citizens of the country. If the petition reaches its goal of 150,000 signatures, it would have more “citizens” than 24 other countries.

The Trash Isles’ honorary first citizen is, of course, former U.S. vice president Al Gore, who appeared in a video for the project.

“We want to shrink this nation,” Gore said. “We don’t want any more plastic added.”

Other high-profile supporters include British actor Judi Dench and Olympic champion runner Mo Farah, per Reuters.

Getting the Trash Isles recognized as a country would help, organizers say, because it would force other U.N. members to help clean the new nation up, as required by the U.N.’s charter.

However, not only is the plan extraordinarily unlikely to succeed, it also isn’t entirely scientifically accurate. In promotional materials, activists describe the Trash Isles as roughly the size of France, suggesting that there is nearly 250,000 square miles of solid, uninterrupted garbage floating on the surface of the Pacific.

In fact, “island” or “isles” are misnomers, according to the NOAA. For the most part, the garbage patch consists of millions of pieces of microplastics — tiny pieces of plastic that poision fish and harm the environment. While there is plenty of empty water bottles and fishing nets too, some of them are below the surface and it is not large enough on the surface to be observed by satellites.

Still, scientists say the garbage patch is extremely dangerous for the environment and use names like “Trash Isles” to convey the severity of that danger, per AdWeek.
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Watch “Coca-Cola – Stop choking our oceans” on YouTube

 

Petition: Protect Wildlife – Keep Plastic Water Bottles Out of Our Parks


http://www.thepetitionsite.com/takeaction/393/047/932/

Are Your Fireworks Causing Pollution? | Care2 Causes

By: s.e. smith
July 2, 2017
’tis the season for colorful, epic displays of fireworks – and my cat’s annual retreat behind the fridge. Americans use more 250 million pounds of them every year.

If you’re a fan of pyrotechnics shows, just thinking about fireworks probably conjures up a fond memory of oohing and aahing along with a crowd, as colors burst overhead and smoke drifts across the — hey, wait a minute.

Sorry, but I’m here to rain on your fireworks, because those delightful explosions come with a hefty dose of pollution. It doesn’t have to be that way, though — in fact, many municipalities are seeking out alternatives that allow residents to enjoy the fun, minus the environmental impact.
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Here’s the problem: Fireworks are made by combining gunpowder with metal that will react as it heats and ignites — that’s what causes the different colors and nifty visual effects. They also historically came packed with sodium perchlorate to act as an oxidizer to fuel that reaction. The explosion itself generates smoke as a byproduct of combustion, and along with it, tiny metallic particles that aren’t great for people — or animals — to breathe.

Researchers in Spain found that after major festivals, concentrations of strontium, copper, antimony, sulphur dioxide and lead, among many others, were much higher in urban areas than they should be. The pollution came not just from municipal fireworks displays, but also from members of the public who set them off in their backyards, just as millions of Americans do around the Fourth of July. They noted that poor quality control and questionable sources made some fireworks more hazardous than others.

Researchers have also found perchlorate in lakes after major fireworks displays. Surprisingly, the United States doesn’t actually regulate perchlorate content in fireworks, so companies have no particular reason to seek an alternative — unless consumers pressure them. Another source of pressure may be regional environmental agencies, which have the power to require permits from entities putting on major fireworks shows.

Between packaging, casing and other components, fireworks also generate a lot of litter. In the case of municipal displays, cities may have a contract clause requiring operators to clean up, but citizens feel no such obligations. The aftermath of a fireworks-laced weekend can include plastic and cardboard debris far and wide, from explosions as well as abandoned packaging.

The good news is that if you love the environment and explosions — like me — you actually can have your cake and eat it too. Researchers are developing less toxic oxidizers, as well as safer compounds that create dramatic color effects — and they’re even thinking about more eco-friendly shell casings. One of the biggest challenges the planet-loving crew faces comes in the form of the ubiquitous red firework, which is actually quite hard to create with eco-friendly compounds.

Disney uses compressed air to launch its fireworks, with the goal of achieving smokeless displays. That’s more enjoyable for theme park guests, but it also benefits the surrounding environment. It’s an important consideration for a business that puts on numerous shows annually.

One of the best sources for research into this issue may surprise you, because it’s the military.

Military personnel use flares that are very similar to fireworks in design, and as part of a goal to be a greener citizen, military researchers have been exploring cleaner burning materials and better packaging to reduce their environmental impact. One reason why? The military is still paying a high price for cleaning up pollution at abandoned bases across the United States, and it’s not eager to perpetuate the problem. In the short term, their work benefits civilian fireworks fans.

As you get ready to celebrate Independence Day, ask local officials about the fireworks used, and the specifics of the city’s contract with the company that puts on the show. If they aren’t using environmentally friendly options, ask why — and be sure to wear respiratory protection to the show. For those who love backyard shows — where it’s safe and legal — consider seeking out fireworks with biodegradable casings and look for products manufactured without perchlorate and other toxic compounds.
Photo credit: Kevin Muncie
Care2 Team Blog

Johnson & Johnson’s half-hearted switch from plastic to paper cotton buds isn’t good enough : TreeHugger

Johnson & Johnson’s half-hearted switch from plastic to paper cotton buds isn’t good enough
Katherine Martinko (@feistyredhair)
February 17, 2017

It’s only happening in half the world. The rest of us can keep using plastic sticks. (Don’t they know about ocean currents?)

This week, in response to consumer pressure, pharmaceutical giant Johnson & Johnson changed its outdated recipe for cotton buds (also know as cotton swabs). From now on, some of them will be made with paper sticks, instead of plastic. This is an important change because there is no proper way to dispose of cotton buds. They cannot be recycled, so after use they’re either tossed in the trash or flushed down the toilet, ultimately ending up in waterways and along shorelines – forever.

According to the Marine Conservation Society, which conducts annual beach clean-ups in the UK, plastic cotton buds were the sixth most common plastic waste item found on British beaches in 2016.

Johnson & Johnson has recognized the unnecessary damage caused by its plastic sticks. Group marketing manager Niamh Finan told The Independent:

“We recognise that our products have an environmental footprint, and that’s why we’re working hard to continually improve and champion best practice in sustainability, in line with our company’s founding principles.”

Scottish environmental group Fidra, which has long campaigned against plastic cotton buds, heralds the decision as a great success. Stated in a press release published on its Cotton Bud Project website:

“The fact that cotton buds continue to be flushed down the toilet and escape through sewage works into the environment means it remains a problem. Switching cotton bud stems from plastic to 100% paper could provide a solution to this problem, combined with campaigns to raise consumer awareness about correct disposal methods. Paper stems should not be flushed but those that do reach the sewage system will become waterlogged and settle out of wastewater, never reaching our beaches.”

plastic cotton bud sticks
© The Great Nurdle Hunt/Facebook — Results of a beach cleanup day

There is something very strange, however, about Johnson & Johnson’s decision. The company is only switching from plastic to paper sticks in half the world. So stores in Europe will get paper-only sticks, but it seems that Australia, North America, and Asia will continue to stock plastic. Currently there is no mention of whether or not the change will be happening elsewhere.

It is an oddly localized response to a serious global crisis. Ocean plastic pollution is a problem of the commons – something for which we all must take responsibility, no matter where we live. In fact, responding naïvely by region doesn’t even work because places like the UK receive plastic trash from all parts of the globe. (Watch A Plastic Tide documentary to learn the tragic story of a community in Scotland where Asia’s garbage washes up daily.)

The other irritating thing is that cotton buds, whether plastic or paper, are an example of a utterly superfluous product – something we don’t even need to manufacture in the first place. Doing away with them altogether would be a better way of professing concern for the planet – not only for the oceans, but also for the cotton fields that soak up most of the world’s agrochemicals.
Ocean plastic pollution is a problem of the commons – something for which we all must take responsibility, no matter where we live.

One good thing to come out of the decision is reducing plastic production overall. Fidra’s press release cites research by British supermarket chain Waitrose, estimating this change will save 21 tons of plastic a year. But seriously, that’s “a mere drop in the ocean compared to the 4.8-12.7 million tons of total plastic waste that researchers calculate are entering our oceans every year.”

I haven’t bought cotton buds in nearly a decade; I suspect it’s similar for most people who care deeply about avoiding single-use disposables. Suffice it to say, this regional corporate decision doesn’t impress me all that much. Why can’t Johnson & Johnson, at the very least, make the transition to all-paper buds world-wide? That would be some real progress.
Related on TreeHugger.com:

“A Plastic Tide” film depicts shocking plastic pollution worldwide
Artist depicts humans entangled in plastic ocean waste
‘The Smog of the Sea’ is Jack Johnson’s new film about plastic pollution
Tags: Corporate Responsibility | Cosmetics | Cotton | Oceans | Plastics | Pollution | Waste

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Protect the Migratory Bird Treaty Act – American Bird Conservancy

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Petition: Stop Plastic Pollution From Destroying Our Oceans

trash-on-the-beach-310x207More than eight million tons of plastics wind up in our seas every year, where the pieces live for many years. There are expected to be 165 million tons of plastic waste in the sea at this very moment. Take action now and save the future of our oceans and the generations to come.

Source: Stop Plastic Pollution From Destroying Our Oceans

Haunting Photos From Scuba Divers Across the World Show Devastating Impact of Ocean Plastic | One Green Planet

scuba-divers-with-rope-pile

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Petition: Protect Marine Life from Microbead Pollution

  1. Side view of a shirtless young man washing face in the bathroom
  2. Aquatic health and water quality are suffering from microbead contamination. These tiny plastic particles are found in common cosmetic products such as body washes and moisturizers. Speak up now to ban the sale of products containing these microbeads to protect the health of our waterways and marine life.

Source: Protect Marine Life from Microbead Pollution

Take action to protect wildlife

Take action to protect wildlife.

Taking Aim at Utah’s Coal Polluters

ClimateWest

Last week, WildEarth Guardians joined the Sierra Club and the National Parks Conservation Association in calling on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to finally clean up the Bonanza coal-fired power plant in northeastern Utah.  This latest volley comes on the heels of ongoing efforts to hold the power plant’s owner, Deseret Power Co-op, accountable after years of violating the Clean Air Act.

The Bonanza power plant is one of the last remaining coal-fired power plants in the American West to be retrofitted with up-to-date pollution controls.  Located in the Uinta Basin of northeastern Utah, a region struggling with smog and other pollution, the plant is hammering local communities with foul emissions.  It’s also choking iconic landscapes with its haze, including nearby Dinosaur National Monument.  Not surprisingly, even the National Park Service has called out the Environmental Protection Agency for not doing more to clean up the plant.

Our…

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NY Times spotlights major threats to the Colorado River