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open ocean plastics

An Ocean Full of Plastic

For more than 20 years, scientists and students from the Sea Education Association (SEA) in Woods Hole have been sailing to the same region of the Atlantic Ocean to study plastics in the water. In two articles published this week, one in Science and one in Marine Pollution Bulletin, researchers from SEA, WHOI, and elsewhere analyze this dataset and report their findings on the abundance, distribution and fate of plastics in the Atlantic. In all, the group collected more than 64,000 pieces of plastic debris from 6,100 sites, outlining a concentrated region of plastics in the Atlantic similar to the infamous “Pacific Garbage Patch.”

(Photo by Giora Proskurowski, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)

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