Within the vast Pacific Ocean between the golden coasts of California and the tropical islands of Hawaii lay thousands of miles of uncharted, blue territory. These expansive waters and extensive shorelines contain some of the most diverse ecosystems and our home to species such as the endangered green sea turtle. However, these waters also contain the world’s largest cumulation of ocean plastic in the world. This large mass is commonly referred to as the “Great Pacific Garbage Patch.”
One of the leading causes behind the decreasing green sea turtle population is pollution. It is estimated that the Great Pacific Garbage Patch covers 1.6 million sq. km, a mass twice the size of Texas, and contains many heavy plastics. These heavier plastics eventually breakdown into smaller micro-plastics, bolstering the permanent effects of the patch. One of the primary reasons for their endangered status is that green sea turtles are at risk for ingesting micro-plastics, often mistaking them for a natural food source.
Every day, more and more vital organisms are being affected by plastics entering the ocean and it is only a matter of time before the effects of humanity permanently alter the future of our planet’s oceans. As for the fate of Green Sea Turtle, it is up to us to prevent any more plastic from entering the ocean. Common plastic products such as straws, toothbrushes, shampoo bottles, etc. continually find their way back to our oceans and are detrimental to the longevity of our planet. Make a difference and choose to reuse.