The Students of Edinboro University for Environmental Defense (SEED), The Geography Club, and Sigma Gamma Epsilon invite you to attend their important event. The event is free for all Edinboro University students, faculty, staff, and the general public:
Plastic Pollution in our Oceans and Lakes by Stiv Wilson, member of the 5Gyres Institute
Thursday, December 6, 2012 at 6:00 p.m. in Compton Hall, Room 107
Mr. Wilson will be presenting on his own experience undertaking plastic pollution research, his finds while sailing to all of the ocean gyres and what we can do to end plastic pollution in our worlds oceans, as well as a study of plastic pollution the 5Gyres institute began this summer on the Great Lakes (including Lake Erie) aboard the Flagship Niagara.
For more information in 5Gyres Institute, go to http://5gyres.org/
Background on the problem:
There is currently garbage, made up mostly of plastic, floating throughout our world's oceans. In five places (one in each ocean) this plastic garbage has consolidated within gigantic eddys, or an areas of swirling currents and wind (gyre). The largest one, the Pacific Garbage Patch in the Pacific Gyre, is roughly 2 times the size of the US. Within these plastic concentrations, the heat of the sun and the wave motion helps breaks down the plastic into smaller pieces...but plastic never actually 'breaks down' so it only becomes smaller and smaller pieces of plastic, and never goes away. These smaller pieces are consumed by marine animals mistaking them for food, leading to internal blockages, dehydration, starvation, and potentially death. Also of deep concern for societies are the potential human health impacts of toxic chemicals entering the marine food chain through plastics. Scientists are now questioning whether plastic toxins that enters the bloodstream and tissues of marine life can potentially harm humans when we eat seafood. Unfortunately, recent research of the Great Lakes by 5Gyres has found plastic pollution is a problem there as well.
Stiv J. Wilson is a freelance environmental journalist/photojournalist and the Communications Director for The 5 Gyres Institute. He is also an ambassador for The Surfrider Foundation and an advisor to The United Nations Safe Planet campaign on hazardous chemicals in the environment. He spends about half his time at sea with The 5 Gyres team, and when not at sea he lectures on plastic pollution around the country.