Monday, June 23, 2008

100,000 marine mammals, 1 million seabirds die

Maybe if 100,000 marine mammals ans 1 million seabirds all died on the same day every year, in a very visible way, we would start taking plastics pollution of our oceans seriously. Instead, this is the yearly toll that plastics pollution causes, and most of us don't see it. That makes it easy to ignore, easy not to take actions that would make a difference.

The NY Times has an article on efforts to clean up plastics pollution on the shores of Gore Point, Alaska. I wrote about plastic in our oceans here and here in February and April. Stop and Shop is certainly promoting re-usable bags in its grocery stores, but so far has not yet discontinued plastics. Hope they do it soon.

Last month Gov. Patrick signed the nation's first comprehensive Ocean Planning legislation.
The legislation, sponsored by Senate President Therese Murray, Senator Robert O'Leary and Senator Bruce Tarr, ends decades of ad hoc decision making by placing oversight, coordination, and planning authority of the state's ocean resources with the Secretary of the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs. That authority will be exercised through an ocean management plan and advised by a broad-based, 17-member ocean management commission, including state agency representatives, state legislators, municipal officials, and environmental, fishing, and marine industry stakeholders. Most importantly, the legislation provides for a balanced and coordinated plan for growth. More at the Mass Ocean Campaign.
On Saturday, September 20, the Ocean Conservancy’s International Coastal Cleanup will take place. Last year, 378,000 volunteers from 76 countries and 45 states cleared six million pounds of trash from oceans and waterways and recorded every piece of trash collected. Besides better managing your own use of plastic, you can take part in this clean-up, and learn more about what we can do, by signing up here. You can send a great e-card, too. Take action!

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