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Block Island wind credit: Regina Asutis-Silvia

Offshore Wind: Don’t Blow It

Recently, new areas were added to the growing list of potential sites for offshore wind...
Sierra

Meet the 2022 Interns: Sierra Osborne

I'm delighted to introduce WDC's Conservation Education intern for Summer 2022, Sierra Osborne! Without hesitation,...
Boto © Fernando Trujillo

Meet the legendary pink river dolphins

Botos don't look or live like other dolphins. Flamingo-pink all over with super-skinny snouts and...
Pacific humpback. Credit: WDC NA

West Coast Whale Watching with Maya Higa

"We need someone to go on a whale watch in Monterey." Well, I've never been...

Earth Day Q&A with Waipapa Bay Wines’ marketing director, Fran Draper

We've been partnered with Waipapa Bay Wines since 2019 and we wanted to get to...
Orcas at the seabed

The secrets of orca beach life

Rubbing on smooth pebbles is a generations-old cultural tradition for a particular group of orcas...
WDC Marine Animal Rescue and Response Intern, JJ Cruz, measures a deceased harbor seal under authorization from NOAA

Meet the 2022 Interns: JJ Cruz

I'm excited to introduce WDC's first ever Marine Animal Rescue and Response intern, JJ! He...

Marine Animal Rescue and Response: 6 Month Update

WDC Marine Animal Rescue and Response Intern, JJ Cruz and WDC staff member Monica Pepe,...

Why are we trashing our oceans?

Today is World Environment Day – a day to appreciate all that is magical about the natural world that surrounds us but also a day for us all to take a long, hard look at the effects our lifestyles are having on the planet.

One of the major growing threats, to both humans and wildlife, is marine debris. The amount of waste and especially plastic waste in our oceans is unprecedented and our wildlife is suffering as a result. Whales, dolphins, birds and turtles are all being found with stomachs full of plastic – in 2013 a sperm whale that washed up on the south coast of Spain was found to have consumed over 17kg of plastic waste, including several plastic bags, a clothes hanger, an ice-cream tub and nine metres of rope. In addition to plastic, more and more animals are being found entangled in discarded or lost fishing gear. For most this will likely involve a subsequently slow, painful and lingering death.

Two opinion pieces that discuss marine debris in some depth and that are well worth a read on this auspicious day come from …

Bradnee Chambers, Executive Secretary of the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals. Mr Chambers discusses the impact of the growing problem of marine debris on islands’ wildlife and the economic and environmental consequences.

And …

Dr. Wendy Watson-Wright, Executive Secretary of UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) talks about the consequences of these vast quantities of trash bobbing around the ocean, both for humans and wildlife, and points to what she regards as the only way to solve the problem.

The problem is not going to go away without some serious engagement on behalf of society and Governments – on this World Environment Day 2014 why not try to do your bit?