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Marine Ecosystem Created from Plastic Debris Could Pose a Threat
Six decades in the making the man-made ecosystem known as the plastisphere began as particles of degraded plastic no bigger than grains of salt.

When that debris washes into the ocean, it breaks down into bits that are colonized by microscopic organisms, many of them new to science. Researchers suspect that some of the denizens may be pathogens hitching long-distance rides on floating junk.

Scientists also fear that creatures in the plastisphere break down chunks of polyethylene and polypropylene so completely that dangerous chemicals are leached into the environment.


 
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Florida Struggles to Overcome Threats to Freshwater Springs - Silver Springs, just outside of Ocala, was once a beautiful clear artesian spring. Tourists flocked to the area, it was a backdrop for Hollywood movies, it made underwater photography famous. Now, a sharp drop-off in flows and a steady rise in algae are causing state officials to take notice of the dramatic increase in groundwater being pumped from the aquifer.


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