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plastic + sea life = :(

Pollution of our Mother Ocean is sadly nothing new. Thankfully, awareness of the man-made mess and the damage it causes to ocean life is on the rise. Pat Garber, in this great piece for the Ocracoke Observer, sheds some light on the challenges we face with plastic debris in particular.

plastic balloon debris in the ocean

Photo courtesy www.balloonsblow.org

“Paddling along the shore­line of Ocracoke Island, I saw an armor-clad knight waving from a hummock of spartina grass. I stopped and stared in shock, then bewilder­ment, before raising my bin­oculars to examine this strange, apparently alive apparition. Realization came quickly.

I was looking at a group of silvery helium balloons, tied together, caught in the branches of a dead cedar and swaying in the breeze. These balloons, which would probably find their way into Pamlico Sound, were part of a huge and ever-increas­ing disaster threatening North Carolina’s marine environment- -plastic pollution.

In the water balloons resemble jelly fish, which are a favorite food of sea turtles. When sea turtles mistakenly eat them, they die. Plastic bags and bottles can also be deadly to marine life.”

Read the rest of Pat’s story on the Ocracoke Observer!

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