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Posted Wed Sep 2 2009: from San Jose Mercury News:
'Pacific Garbage Patch' expedition finds plastic, plastic everywhere
Scientists who returned to the Bay Area this week after an expedition to the "Great Pacific Garbage Patch" brought piles of plastic debris they pulled out of the ocean -- soda bottles, cracked patio chairs, Styrofoam chunks, old toys, discarded fishing floats and tangled nets. But what alarmed them most, they said Tuesday, was the nearly inconceivable amount of tiny, confettilike pieces of broken plastic. They took hundreds of water samples between the Farallon Islands near San Francisco and the notorious garbage patch 1,000 miles west of California, and every one had tiny bits of plastic floating in it. And the closer they sailed to the garbage patch, which some researchers have estimated to be twice the size of Texas, the more plastic pieces per gallon they found... crews on the three-week voyage discovered tiny jellyfish eating bits of the plastic debris. The jellyfish are, in turn, eaten by fish like salmon or tuna, which people eat.
[Read more stories about: PCBs, bisphenol A, climate impacts, contamination, plastic gyre, plastic problems]
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