AMA #22 Plastic Gyres

2 min readJan 4, 2022

Did you know that our oceans are home to 5 giant islands of floating plastic?

These 5 ‘gyres’ used to be big rotating currents of clear, salty water. Unfortunately, the circulating ocean waters have drawn in the pollution from the coasts and surrounding ocean, resulting in patches of concentrated marine debris. Today, the gyres resemble a plastic soup. There are an estimated 5 trillion pieces of plastic in our oceans. It’s estimated that all the plastic swimming in our oceans weighs 250,000 tons!

The five gyres are called the North Atlantic Gyre, the South Atlantic Gyre, the North Pacific Gyre, the South Pacific Gyre, and the Indian Ocean Gyre. The best known is probably the North Pacific Gyre, also known as the “Great Pacific Garbage Patch”. This gyre sits between the west coast of North America and Japan and spreads across 276,000 square miles — the size of Texas.

This week we’re going to be learning all about the 5 gyres and the plastic pollution crisis on our hands. Tune in to our Instagram stories for some facts, and to find out how you can help.

For our 22nd AMA (and the first of 2022, happy new year!) we’ll be chatting with Kendra Nelson in Vancouver— marine biologist and sustainability educator. Our interview will be live on our Instagram page on January 6th at 4 am UTC, January 5th at 11 pm ET. You can also check it out afterwards on our IGTV.

Kendra raises awareness about plastic pollution, Southern Resident killer whale conservation and many other ocean topics. She is also a mentor for women who want to pursue careers in ocean science. We’ll be getting to know Kendra and her work, and talking about the topic of plastic pollution and the 5 gyres in our oceans.

Head over to Twitter to send in your questions for Kendra. The top 5 questions win $20 worth of $SEA.




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