Episode 314: Oceans, Plastic & Marine Mammals

Original Airdate: 
Monday, February 20, 2012 - Sunday, February 26, 2012
Next Airdate: 
Monday, September 10, 2012 - Sunday, September 16, 2012

Traveling around the globe to trawl for plastic in the 5 major gyres. That's what researchers from the Algalita Marine Research Foundation have been doing and what they've found is shocking. Algalita has been conducting research about plastic in the Earth's oceans for 15 years. Sailing on the foundation's 50 foot catamaran, the Algalita, researchers have gone where plastic debris gathers. Eco Company travels to Southern California to visit the Algalita lab and see all of the plastic "confetti" which is meticulously catalogued and analyzed. What we learn will startle even those who are acutely aware of the oceans' growing issues with plastic waste.

Many marine mammals are harmed or critically injured by our trash in the oceans. But Jalena found one place that's on a mission to save these creatures. The Marine Mammal Center in Northern California rescues seals, sea lions, porpoises and other injured or sick mammals. Thanks to the dedication of hundreds of volunteers, they are healed, cured, rehabbed and returned to their native habitat. And some of the volunteers are concerned teens.

Then...when you think of NASA you think of space, right. Well, they're using their satellites and their scientific brain power to study the Earth's oceans as well! Oceans cover two thirds of the Earth's surface. Eco Company wanted to know how the oceans are being affected by climate change, so Adam visited the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena and discovered...you guessed it, NASA scientists are on it...studying changes in ocean temps and what it's doing to our coastlines and beaches.