SAN DIEGO — A plastic vortex of trash twice the size of Texas floats about 1,000 miles off the coast of California, invisible to the naked eye
Just about the only thing researchers know for sure about the Great Pacific Garbage Patch is that it can’t be good for the environment. The plastic and toxins it attracts have become a part of the Pacific Ocean’s ecosystem, killing everything from fish to birds to sea turtles.
On Sunday, researchers from UCSD’s Scripps Institution of Oceanography in La Jolla and Project Kaisei, a nonprofit based in San Francisco, will board two ships for a $1.1 million, nearly four-week voyage that will launch the most extensive study of the waterborne landfill to date.
Project Kaisei founder Doug Woodring says his ultimate goal – after several more trips – is to clean up the mess, a feat that several leading researchers have said is impossible. But even in the worst-case scenario, the voyage will raise awareness about the harmful effects of plastic products, Woodring said.
“Everyone has said that it’s too big and there’s no way to fix it,” he said. “We think that if we made the problem, there must be a way to solve the problem. Informing people is the first step.”Read the whole story on signonsandiego at: http://www3.signonsandiego.com/stories/2009/jul/30/1m30trash231552-researchers-launch-study-ocean-gar/