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Ocean institute hopes Japan's tsunami debris makes people aware of ocean garbage

Ocean institute hopes Japan's tsunami debris makes people aware of ocean garbage

RICHMOND, B.C. - The head of a group that tracks ocean debris says she hopes discussions about the wreckage from the Japanese tsunami will force the public to think about the vast amount of garbage in the sea.

The Ocean Voyages Institute recently completed a trip off the North American coast as it sailed from San Francisco to the Vancouver area.

The group's founder, Mary Crowley, says the ship found debris including a piece of a floating dock almost 500 kilometres off the coast of Oregon and Washington states.

Crowley says she believes the massive debris field from the tsunami — some of which is making its way to the North American West Coast — could prompt a larger discussion about ocean debris.

Specifically, Crowley says more needs to be done to deal with a massive field of floating plastic often referred to as the "Great Pacific Garbage Patch."

The patch makes up an area believed to be roughly the size of Texas, but Crowley says governments around the world aren't doing enough to clean it up or prevent more garbage from collecting in the ocean.

News from © The Canadian Press, 2012
The Canadian Press

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