How a Sea Captain's Chance Discovery Launched a Determined Quest to Save the Oceans
Publication Date: September 4, 2012
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In the summer of 1997, Charles Moore set sail from Honolulu returning home after competing in a trans-Pacific race. To get to California, he and his crew took a shortcut through the seldom-traversed North Pacific Subtropical Gyre, a vast "oceanic desert" where winds are slack and sailing ships languish. There, Moore realized his catamaran was surrounded by a "plastic soup." He had stumbled upon the largest garbage dump on the planet--a spiral nebula where plastic outweighed zooplankton, the ocean's food base, by a factor of six to one.
In "Plastic Ocean," Moore recounts his ominous findings and unveils the secret life and hidden proper ties of plastics. From milk jugs to polymer molecules small enough to penetrate human skin or be unknowingly inhaled, plastic is now suspected of contributing to a host of ailments, including infertility, autism, thyroid dysfunction, and some cancers. An urgent call to action, Moore's sobering revelations will be embraced by activists, concerned parents, and anyone concerned about the deadly impact and implications of this man-made blight.
Cassandra Phillips has worked as a newspaper reporter and won grant funding from the USDA Small Business and Innovation and Research program to research plastic's effects on orchids.