SAN DIEGO – Researchers say a Texas-sized garbage patch in the Pacific Ocean is possibly killing marine life and birds that are ingesting the trash.
Scientists at Scripps Institution of Oceanography on Thursday announced findings from an August expedition to the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, about 1,000 miles west of California. The patch is a vortex formed by ocean currents and collects human-produced trash.
Among researchers' findings were confetti-like plastic shards and barnacles clinging to water bottles. The scientists say they will analyze the trash to determine the density of the patch and its consequences for sea creatures.
They worry marine life is dying from ingesting plastic, which does not biodegrade but breaks into small pieces.