Marcus and Anna have explained that most of the plastic pollution that they are finding in remote areas of the ocean found its way into the ocean through watersheds. Plastic litter on land flows directly out to sea when it rains. Today we traveled to the mouths of three major rivers here in Southern California: The Los Angeles, San Gabriel and Santa Ana Rivers to see if the large quantities of plastics entering the oceans at the river mouths are also entering the food chain through the mouths of fish. (The pic to the left is of the mouth of the Santa Ana River.)
For me, the day provided a continually changing perspective on our local marine ecosystems. Dolphins joined us to play in front of our bow, pelicans and terns dove from the air catching fish around the research vessel, harbor seals and sea lions basked in the sun barely opening their eyes as we passed- the diversity of marine life in this area is amazing! Similarly to Marcus and Anna's experience in the Atlantic, as we passed through windrows of plastic litter suddenly the serene ocean scene would give way to an uncomfortable reminder of our impacts on the ocean and how much work we have ahead of us.
Thank you all for joining us -Holly-