Earthguide Online Classroom

Great garbage patch in the Pacific Gyre - where it comes from

Litter that has been carried by runoff (part of the water cycle), into Chollas creek and on its way to the ocean.

Local connections - Chollas Creek and local beaches

  1. Where does the garbage in Chollas Creek originate?
  2. What are the sources and how much comes from each source?
  3. What kinds of garbage and pollutants are less visible? Silt? Copper? Pharmaceuticals?
  4. Does any of this garbage pollute our beaches?
  5. What kinds of materials are longer-lasting and more visible?
  6. How far away will the garbage go?
  7. How can we reduce the amount of garbage that gets away by source?
  8. What is already being done?

Garbage at sea

  1. Garbage in our local streams, rivers and beaches
  2. The local water cycle - runoff to the ocean
  3. Stormwater runoff vs. sewage
  4. Individuals as sources of garbage and pollutants - awareness
  5. Industrial sources - plastic pellets
  6. How are environmental practices coordinated between the U.S. and Mexico?
  7. Changes in practice
  8. Related careers - Environmental Compliance Manager, Civil Engineer,

Shipping containers

  1. What's a shipping container?
  2. How many containers does a typical container ship hold?
  3. How many containers are typically lost at sea each year?
  4. How many containers and ships move through the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach each year?
  5. How many trips and containers move around the world each year?
  6. What percentage of total containers moved are lost each year?

Distance impacts

  1. Where is Midway Island?
  2. How much garbage piles up on the beaches at Midway?
  3. Is this garbage from the people of Midway?
  4. Where does Midway sit with respect to the major ocean gyres of the world?
  5. How does garbage get to Midway and why does it accumulate near there?
  6. What kinds of garbage get to Midway?
  7. What are possible solutions?

Impacts on seabirds

  1. Where do albatross live most of the year?
  2. Why do albatross go to Midway?
  3. What was found in the stomach contents of dead albatross chicks on Midway?
  4. How productive are the waters around Midway?
  5. Why might albatross eat all those things?
  6. What had been the advantages of going to Midway?
  7. Learn more about seabird migration. Do albatross face dangers during other times of the year?
  8. How can declining seabird populations be reversed?

Related resources

Related topics

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