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Environmental terms & definition
A Anthropocene A new geologic time period (following the Holocene) that is identified by humans having a global influence on Earth's environment. From mass extinction of fauna and flora to air and water pollution, humans are significantly impacting the Earth's system.
Anthropogenic Human influence on the environment. For example, anthropogenic climate change refers to disturbances made to the climate that is caused by humans.
Aquaponics Aquaponics is a unique method of raising fish and plants at the same time. Fish droppings are used to fertilize the plants while the water from the fish tank is filtered by the plants.
  Arrival survey A survey on the country of origin and other information of marine debris washed ashore.
  Asian marine debris Debris in the ocean or on beaches that are products of Asian countries.
B Beach cleanup Many beaches and oceans are littered with marine debris. These disrupt the safety of many marine species and people visiting those beaches. So, beaches needed to be cleaned up periodically to prevent any further harm from happening.
  Biodegradable waste Organic waste that can be broken down and decompose to return to be used by nature as soil. Examples of biodegradable waste are plant or animal wastes, leaves, or wood.
  Biodiversity 'Biological diversity’ refers to the number of plant and animal species on the planet. This makes up an ecosystem composed of a community of plants, animals, and other living things interacting with one another in their habitats.

C Compost A rich soil-like material produced from decayed plants and other organic matter, such as food and animal waste, that decomposes (breaks down) naturally. Most food waste can be put into compost, but you should not include meat, bones, cheese, cooking oils and fish. These may take a long time to break down and attract unwanted pests.
  Composting The process of letting food and other organic wastes break down to make compost.
  Conservation Preserving or protecting animal and plant species as well as resources by taking actions to prevent further harm to them.
E Eastern garbage patch

An area in the ocean between Hawaii and California that has been identified to have a concentration of marine debris.

  Ecosystem A community of organisms that depend on each other and the environment they inhabit.
  Ecosystem services

These are benefits that humans receive from the ecosystem. Ecosystem services include the ecosystem providing humans with clean water, clean air, and food.

  Ecotourism Small-scale tourism aimed to be environmentally friendly, beneficial to local communities and allow tourists to learn more about the nature and culture of the location they visit.


  Endangered species A species that is at risk of going extinct.
  Endemic species A species that can only be found at a particular place an nowhere else on the planet.
  Environment The air, water, minerals, organisms, and all other conditions surrounding and affecting a given organism at any time.
  Environmental issue Issues that affect our environment such as global warming, air and water pollution, marine debris, etc.
  Environmental steward

Taking responsibility in protecting the natural environment through conservation and sustainable practices.


The Endangered Species Act was created in 1973 with the purpose of protecting endangered species and their critical habitats.

  Exit survey

A survey about marine debris from their country of origin and how they might interact in the ocean currents.

  Extinct Extinction of a species means they are no longer living and are no longer existing on Earth. Once a species has gone extinct, they cannot be brought back.
G Garbage patch

A region in the ocean with high concentrations of marine debris and chemicals that have been trapped by the currents. The patch is widespread, roughly 30 meters (100 feet) in depth, and it constantly moving with the ocean currents.

H Habitat An area occupied by a community or species (group of animals or plants), such as a forest floor, desert or sea shore.

Biodiversity hotspots make up areas on Earth that contain rich reservoirs of plant and animal life. These unique regions of the world with high numbers of endemic species are unfortunately also home to most of Earth's threatened species. Endemic species are animals and plants that can only be found in a specific region and nowhere else in the world.

I Invasive species

Animal or plants species that have been intentionally or unintentionally introduced to a different habitat by humans. They may disrupt native species by dominating their habitats.


(Black current)

Beginning off the east coast of Taiwan, this current flows northeastward past Japan and merges with the easterly drift of the North Pacific Current.

M Marine debris Marine debris is any human-made trash that is throw out and discarded in the ocean. Even though debris is produced in one country, they can arrive to many other countries traveling across the ocean. Every year, it is estimated that over a billion pounds of debris are thrown into the ocean. Typical types of marine debris are plastics, glass, cloth, derelict fishing gear, metals, rubber, and vessels. These pollute the ocean and threaten marine communities. They also take away the beauty from beaches and damages habitat on land.
  Marine species Animals and plants that live in or around the ocean.
N Natural resources The natural wealth that a country possesses from its land, such as mineral deposits, water, and vegetation.
  NIMBY (Not in my backyard)

This is the attitude of communities to oppose the development of facilities that are hazardous or unpleasant to their neighborhood. However, there are also environmental justice issues, as poorer neighborhoods with less social, political, and economic influence are more vulnerable to developments by hazardous waste facilities.

  Non-biodegradable waste These wastes cannot decompose or be broken down by natural processes and remain in the environment for years. Examples are plastics, glass products, or nylon.
  Nylon Strong formed from a chemical process and that is used to make clothes, ropes, and other products. They are non-biodegradable, taking up to 40 years to decompose.
O Over consumption The human behavior of consuming resources in a unsustainable manner.
P Plastic Plastic, which is easy to manipulate into many forms, is cheap to produce compared to other materials.  This is why many of the products we use on a daily basis are made from plastic, so many of our wastes are plastics.
  Poaching Illegal hunting, killing or capturing of wild animals for business. For example, elephants are poached for their ivory to be processed as jewelry and sold for a high price. Poaching is one factor leading to the endangerment and extinction of species.
  Pollution The action or process of dirtying the land, water, and air so that they are not safe or suitable to use.
R Recycle To break waste items down into their raw materials to be used to re-make an item or make new items.
  Reduce To decrease our consumption and purchasing of products to avoid creating more waste.
  Reuse To continue using an item more than once in order to save money, time, energy and resources. This prevents the need to buy more products and produces less waste.
S Sustainable Involving methods that do not completely use up or destroy natural resources.
T Threatened species A species that is at threat of becoming endangered.


U Undernourished Not nourished with sufficient or proper food to maintain a healthily or normal growth.
W Western garbage patch

Another are with high concentration of marine debris that is located off the coast of Japan.



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