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Why is there trash in the ocean and how did it get there?

  People are responsible for Marine Debris:
When people mishandle of trash, they find their way into the ocean, where it becomes Marine Debris. When people litter on the streets or anywhere they go, that trash may end up in the drains by rain or wind, where they may eventually end up flowing into the ocean.
  Rivers and Streams:
Some trash are dumped directly into rivers or streams, which can flow into larger bodies of water, such as the ocean.
Other trash that may be littered on the side of the road or even up in the mountains can be carried to the nearest river system by rain, wind, or flood, which may also flow into the ocean to become Marine Debris.
  Oceans and Beaches:
Some people who live near the ocean may discard old or broken items such as TVs, refrigerators, or daily trash into the ocean illegally, out of convenience or because there is no appropriate place of disposal nearby.
Beach goers and families who go to the beach for fun may leave toys (beach balls, buckets, shovels, etc.), food wrappers, drink bottles, and other items that can end up in the ocean.
  Derelict Fishing Gear:
Any fishing gears, like fishing nets, fishing lines, ropes, crab cages, etc. that are abandoned in the ocean are known as derelict fishing gear.
Out at sea, fisherman may leave or dump their old and broken fishing equipment in the ocean. Othertimes, nets and fishing lines get stuck on rocks and corals at the bottom of the ocean, so fishermen are unable to pull it back up and collect them.

These fishing nets that are abondoned in the ocean are called "ghost nets".



Not only that, marine debris travels to the other side of continent and may be affecting to the beach eco-system for long time.


How debris travels in the Pacific Ocean:

  Marine debris that leaves Southeast Asia takes about two years to reach the pacific coast of the United States, and another two years to return to Asia. So, a roundtrip movement from Southeast Asian takes roughly four years.

What are the “garbage patches”? 

  "Garbage patches" are areas of marine debris concentration. As mentioned above, these patches of marine debris do not form islands or other large formations that can be seen by satellite or aerial photographs. Though the specific locations cannot be specifically identified, there are two approximate areas of garbage patches. The Eastern Garbage Patch is located approximately within the North Pacific Subtropical High between Hawaii and California. The Western Garbage Patch may be located near the Kuroshio current off the coast of Japan.

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