Tracking Trash: Flotsam, Jetsam, and the Science of Ocean Motion (56 pgs) by Loree Griffin Burns 2007
I’m in love with NPR. Every author they have on their programs is infinitely interesting. This one was no different. This slim kid’s book on the past and current experiments tracking the ocean’s surface currents was engaging. More a call to arms against ocean pollution than anything else, it was nonetheless interesting to see how oceanographers have learned what they have. Write-ups of studies tracking massive spills of tennis shoes and bath tub toys lead to discussions of the way ocean currents create massive garbage patches and how ghostnets are damaging reefs. My favorite imagery: one of the scientists, when asked why we can’t just go to the garbage patches and pick up the plastic piece by piece said “it would be like mowing the state of Texas- twice.” Bonus: I now know the difference between flotsam and jetsam, and yes there really is one.