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Posted by Rick Civelli | 01.06.2010 | WB Surf Camp News

Explorer Charlie Moore to Speak at UNC Wilmington Jan. 14 – “Great Pacific Garbage Patch”

Explorer and Researcher Charlie Moore to Speak at UNC Wilmington Jan. 14 about “Great Pacific Garbage Patch” The amount of plastic pollution in the Pacific and the consequences it may have for the oceans, the planet and human health has been a subject of research and controversy in recent years. Captain Charlie Moore’s research on plastic pollution in the North Pacific Ocean has focused worldwide attention on the area now often referred to as the “Great Pacific Garbage Patch.” He will speak at 8 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 14 in Lumina Theater at the University of North Carolina Wilmington.

Moore’s talk, “Research and Discovery in Our Synthetic Sea,” is free and open to the public. He found the Pacific garbage patch by accident 12 years ago, when he came upon it on his way back from a sailing race in Hawaii. The garbage patch includes light bulbs, bottle caps, tooth brushes, plastic bottles and tiny pieces of broken down plastic, each the size of a grain of rice. It is an area of widely dispersed trash that doubles in size every decade and is now believed to be roughly twice the size of Texas. Bonnie Monteleone, a UNCW graduate student and Surf Camp friend researching a master’s thesis on plastic accumulation in the ocean, was a volunteer crew member with Moore on a scientific voyage to the Pacific garbage patch last summer. She kept hoping they would find at least one sample from the area that had no trash in it. “Just one area — just one,” she said. “That’s all I wanted to see. But everywhere had plastic.”

Moore, founder of the Algalita Marine Research Foundation, has been published in numerous science journals, as well as in mainstream press such as the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, the Wall Street Journal, and Sierra Club magazine. He has also been featured on Nightline and Good Morning America. A Southern California native, Moore’s presentation at UNCW will be during his first East Coast speaking tour.

Additional information on Moore and the Algalita Foundation is available online at www.algalita.org. Moore’s presentation is sponsored by UNC Wilmington, Keep America Beautiful of New Hanover County, Cape Fear Surfrider Foundation and UNCW Eco Club. For more information, contact Bonnie Monteleone, UNCW, at 910.962.3450 or Jennifer O’Keefe, Keep America Beautiful, at 910.798.4404.