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Response to Stem Students Elijah and Sarah

As we head Northwest every day that we trawl our samples increase in the amount of plastic micro-debris. The other day I amused myself for a few hours and I played a game trying to catch all the floating trash that went past the boat, with a large net while steering. There in the distance was a white floating object with a bird resting on top. It looked like a little ice berg. As it came close the bird flew away and I was in awe of the large chunk of foam. Every 5 minutes more debris would float by including, a car bumper, light bulbs and water bottles. I was certain that we reached the elusive North Pacific Gyre (Eastern Hemisphere). How does the plastic in this gyre behave? Would the debris stay suspended in this gyre indefinitely or be spit out onto nearby Pacific Island beaches with the possibility of becoming vulnerable to transformation into Plastioglomerate.

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Day 47 — Response to student blog from ORP

It is day 47 and Matt and I are starting to think about what food we crave the most. We both agree a nice salad and fruit would be refreshing but then Matt changes his mind to a dozen BBQ chicken wings and I decide nachos would be tasty for our imaginary snack. Out here you live simply. You do not over eat, you produce very little waste such as one bag for trash and one bag for recyclables for two people for a few months. We make our own water every day. It can take up to two hours so we take turns pumping to produce the 5 liters we need. You begin to become very conscious of how much exposure you have to un-natural chemicals in you daily life because offshore you are surrounded by nature. How much of the packaged foods and toiletries that I stowed for use during this crossing have been partly compromised by harmful plastic chemicals and may be harmful products in disguise? I don’t know. I even question the very fibers of our clothing and here I go staring at my 100% plastic toothbrush again. Plastic seen afloat offshore or in use onboard the Sakura are likely polypropylene and polyethylene which by design have a knack to resist aging. The more I think of it I am surrounded by plastic whether onshore or offshore and refusing to buy harmful plastic will be a challenge that is slow to conquer and a lifelong challenge.

The more I think of it I am surrounded by plastic whether onshore or offshore and refusing to buy harmful plastic will be a challenge that is slow to conquer and a lifelong challenge.

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Plastic that knows no bounds — Response to student blog from ORP

Angry birds, is not just an amusing game APP on your smartphone but an everyday observation I have made on all 38 days sailing across the Pacific. The birds I referring to are alive and soar around the Sakura not on an electronic device. Maybe these birds are more hungry than angry but I do know they eat what is near or adrift on top of sea surface including plastic debris which can’t be very tasty making for a toxic treat.

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Plastics in Our World and in our Oceans — Old Mill Middle South – By Rachel and STEM team

The sixth grade STEM science class has been researching plastic. They have found some shocking things that are happening despite the fact that plastic materials are used very often in our daily lives.

When you take showers in the morning, did you realize that your shower curtain is made of plastic? Or the soap bottles that contain the liquid soaps and shampoos are made of plastic? When you eat breakfast, your plates and utensils might be made of plastic! Think of all the plastics used in the food container and storage industry.

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Let’s Build-a-Marine Plastic Debris BLOG

 

STEM

April 18th 2014:

Hi, Maryland Old Mill Middle School Students! Have you ever had the opportunity to be a part of an Ocean Research Team? I am Nicole Trenholm an ocean scientist and I will be out to sea, out of sight of land, very busy collecting samples of plastic pollution starting from one side of the Pacific Ocean to the other; California (latitude 37° 47.109’N, longitude 122° 15.793’W) to Japan (latitude 33° 36.779’N, longitude 130° 22.279’E). Can you plotour start and finish locations on Google Earth? What port cities are at these locations? I am not alone on this voyage, famous Guinness record breaking explorer, Captain Matt Rutherford is leading the research expedition, keeping the wind in our sails as we work our way to Japan. Are you ready to act as special reporters and ocean researchers by building a live BLOG with us that will be posted on multiple websites and seen by countless people of all ages who care about what you have to say about the problems with plastic debris in our oceans?

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