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How To Keep the Sea Free of Debris

November 12, 2014

Hosted by Thomas Morton and originally aired in 2008 on, in this documentary the Vice crew sails to the North Pacific Gyre, an area in the ocean with such an abundant collection of floating plastic material that it has been dubbed the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, and gained a reputation for being a Texas-sized “island” made entirely of trash.

The crew discover for 129_the_root_of_joythemselves that while this island is a myth, the truth is far worse — far more disgusting, and far more challenging to convey: rather than an island, the gyre’s “currents spin and cycle, churning up tons of plastic into a giant pool of chemical soup, flecked with bits and whole chunks of refuse that cannot biodegrade.”

In addition to part one above, there are two more parts worth watching:
Part 2/3:
Part 3/3:

The myth of the Island Garbage Patch inspired artist Chris Jordan to investigate, photograph and “run the numbers” here as he has for other issues

(link to TED talk)

and/or read  part 1: Midway Chris Jordan’s Trash Talk 

and/or read part 2 Chris Jordan: Melting the Ice in the Heart). He too found it challenging to present the volume of plastic in the ocean–until he found the bellies of albatross filled with our plastic debris.

So how can we keep the sea free of debris? By cutting down on our plastic waste and by supporting legislation requires industry to do so as well.

We need to contemplate what causes us to create so much plastic waste. Is it that we are not grateful for what we have? That we think by buying more stuff we will have more joy in our lives?

Annie Leonard of Greenpeace has created a series of videos: The Story of Stuff, The Story of Water, and the Story of Solutions which examine the impacts on the planet and people on our profit-driven consumeristic lifestyle.

November is a month of gratitude, of Thanksgiving. Let’s be grateful for what we have, be willing to care more, and take actions daily to lessen our impact.

Make sacred life on our planet by making small sacrifices of time. Refill that water bottle. Refuse styrofoam, Make conscious choices.

"Keep the Sea Free of Debris!" art contest starts October 15th!


If you are a US Kindergarten through 8th grade student, you’re invited to enter the “Keep the Sea Free of Debris” Art Contest:

“Each entry must be composed of a piece of artwork and a description (on entry form). All must meet the requirements below. Students are highly encouraged to check out the NOAA Marine Debris Program’s website for more information about marine debris.”

Entries (entry form and artwork) should be mailed to:

Marine Debris Art Contest
ATTN: Asma Mahdi
NOAA Marine Debris Program
1305 East-West Highway Rm #10203
SSMC4, 10th Floor
Silver Spring, MD 20910

All entries must be postmarked by Monday, November 17th. Please note that entries will not be returned. If you have any questions, please contact Asma Mahdi at (301) 713-4248 Ext. 235 or

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