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Plague of Plastic Chokes the Seas
John Klavitter, a wildlife biologist who is stationed at Midway Atoll is used to seeing death that is mostly caused by plastic. Midway, an atoll halfway between North America and Japan, it is more than 1,000 miles from the nearest city. Midway doesn’t have industrial centers or fast-food restaurants; and has a population of a few dozen people, but a large albatross population.

Of the 500,000 albatross chicks born on Midway each year, about 200,000 die, mostly from dehydration or starvation. Their bellies stuffed with plastic items such as lighters, bottle caps, legos, fishing lures, toy soldiers; so full in fact that there is little room for food and liquid. Albatross fly hundreds of miles in search for food for the young. Their flight path takes them over the Eastern Garbage Patch, part of a system of currents between San Francisco and Hawaii where floating debris seems to accumulate. Twice the size of Texas, 90% of the floating marine litter is plastic and the albatross mistake it for food.

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Community Clean-Up Prevents the Growth of Algae - Storm sewers in city and suburban streets flow directly into lakes and rivers. Leaves, grass clippings, and other organic debris we often see along curbs and clogging storm drains contain phosphorus, nitrogen and sediment which are all significant sources of water pollution.


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