Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Plastics in the Pacific

Did you know that there is a "garbage patch" twice the size of Texas floating off the western coast of the United States? Trash washed into the Pacific Ocean in Asia along with floating garbage dumped at sea accumulates in an area of swirling waters called a "gyre." A similar gyre with North American trash makes up the western garbage patch off the east coast of China.

Each year, the Los Angeles River, which is just a trickle of water except when there's rain in the L.A. Basin, washes enough trash into the Pacific Ocean to fill the Rose Bowl to a depth of two storeys.

Take a look at the five-part series on ocean pollution in the Los Angeles Times. (The web site provides video, still photos, and graphics.)