Environmental Awareness: Ocean Garbage Patches

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Environmental Awareness: Ocean Garbage Patches

A gyre is a natural ocean current which moves in a continuous circle. You have explored major surface currents of the ocean and identified where on earth they are located. Now, you will conduct internet research on how these currents not only move water but lead to the creation of large landfills in the ocean.


Read the following article and answer the questions below IN COMPLETE SENTENCES: http://www.mnn.com/earth-matters/wilderness-resources/stories/what-can-28000-rubber-duckies-lost-at-sea-teach-us-about-

  1. Name four locations to which the ducks have now traveled.

  2. In which gyre are the ducks still circulating?

  3. How many ducks originally were lost at sea?

  4. How many are still in circulation?

  5. Approximately how many shipping containers are estimated to be lost at sea?

  6. How do shipping and transit spills contribute to the Great Pacific Garbage Patch?


Search the web for answers to the following questions. You may find these sources helpful: http://education.nationalgeographic.com/education/encyclopedia/great-pacific-garbage-patch/?ar_a=1



  1. What is the Great Pacific garbage patch?

  2. How was the GPGP discovered?

  3. How does plastic from the US and North Carolina get to the middle of the Pacific Ocean?

  4. Why would fish confuse plastics for food?

  5. Why is the GPGP mostly plastic?

  6. How long does it take plastics in the ocean to degrade?

  7. Why are there ocean gyres?

  8. Why don't plastics just sink out there?

  9. What kinds of chemicals attach to plastics in the GPGP?

  10. How do plastics move up the food chain?

  11. Can plastics in fish hurt people?

  12. Can plastics in the GPGP be recycled?


Read the following article about pollution in the ocean:



  1. Is the Great Pacific Garbage Patch the only one of its kind in our oceans?

  2. What do some scientists suggest about the reports of the GPGP? Is its reported size accurate? Can we trust the claims of its potential for destruction?

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