There were a few odd stories over these past few weeks regarding waste from years ago that ended up in the ocean, but has now resurfaced on solid ground.
The first that hit our radar came out of Florida where, back in 1972, some folks who were trying to do good ended up doing very very bad. You see, in the early 1970s, there was such a strong swing towards hyper-environmentalism that folks were often a bit over eager to give certain ideas a try without proper methodology or testing in many cases. Such was the situation when folks from Fort Lauderdale tied a bunch of tires together and threw them into the ocean in the hopes that it would create an artificial reef up against an existing natural coral reef.
Unfortunately, coral did not grow on the rubber tires and in fact the bundles broke apart during heavy storms and did significant damage to the naturally occurring coral in the area. Now, there is a two year project in place which is aimed at getting the tires out of the ocean so as to burn them in a green energy power plant nearby. The lesson here is don’t dump tires in the ocean in the first place. Fish are not fond of them.
The second story that caught our eye was of a New Jersey man who has constructed a giant sculpture out of trash from items that have washed up from the ocean. Much of what Lennox Warner used to build his creation had washed up after Super Storm Sandy. There is no telling how long the trash Mr. Warner has used was in the ocean to begin with, but one thing is true: All of us would be better off if it had not gotten there to begin with.
Most of the trash in the Atlantic came from decades ago primarily from New York City, which has since discontinued ocean dumping. In fact the practice has thankfully all but disappeared in the US. However, the garbage piles on the floor of the Pacific Ocean continue to grow due to dumping by China and other growing economies of coastal Asia.
As far as we are concerned, the biggest goals continue to be avoiding putting waste into landfills, recycling as much as possible and being as efficient as we can with waste streaming. Keep it green out there folks!