Message in the Waves and the Wings

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Do you ever wonder where all the plastics that we throw in the garbage end up?  Every year, millions of animals in the oceans die from ingesting plastics.  This is not limited to animals that live their entire lives in the oceans.  It also includes sea birds.

plastics found in the stomach of an albatross chick

Hawaii: Message in the Waves” is a documentary describing the impact of plastics in the oceans.  Part of the documentary focuses on a small island in the Hawaiian chain called Midway Island, which is set aside as a wildlife preserve and is off-limits to humans.  This island is an important nesting ground for albatross.

Two out of five albatross chicks on Midway Island never make it to adulthood because they ingest too much plastic!  This is clear from walking around Midway Island and observing the stomach contents of the dead and decaying baby birds.  The albatross parents fly out to sea to get food for their chicks, and come back with mouthfuls of plastic because food is hard to find.  The plastic sits in the albatross stomachs and slows their development, causing many to die.  The only way plastic gets onto Midway Island is from the birds that carry it there.  The amount of plastic found there is remarkable.  Watch the video clip here.  If you were a sea bird would YOU want to swallow all this plastic?

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