Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute

Marcus Eriksen, Ph.D. and Anna Cummins

Algalita Marine Research Foundation

Synthetic Sea, Synthetic Me: Plastic Debris in the Marine Environment

Rainbow Runner

Wednesday - June 10, 2009

Pacific Forum – 3:00 p.m.

Dr. Marcus Eriksen and Anna Cummins from the Algalita Marine Research Foundation (AMRF) discuss the issue of plastic debris fouling our oceans and entering the marine food chain. Since 1997, AMRF has studied the accumulation of plastic debris in the North Pacific Gyre. Results from AMRF's 2008 expedition found a doubling in the density of surface plastics in just ten years, as well as new evidence of plastic ingestion by lantern fish.

Anna and Marcus will share their recent project to build JUNK, a raft from 15,000 bottles that sailed to Hawaii this past summer, as well as their current JUNKride voyage, cycling from Vancouver to Tijuana to raise awareness about plastic marine debris. Learn how the rapid accumulation of plastic debris is impacting the marine food web, and what we can do to stop the plastic plague.


Next: June 17 - Janet Cushing