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Do You Use Facial Scrub? If So, Read This!

Insights + Opinion
Do You Use Facial Scrub? If So, Read This!

Marcus Eriksen

Dr. Sylvia Earle with Anna Cummins, Marcus Eriksen and their baby Avani at Blue Ocean Film Festival.

As we move into the Fall season, we're hopping on bikes and cycling 1,400 miles down the east coast for the Last Straw Plastic Pollution Solutions Outreach Tour (see below for a really awesome Trash Challenge where YOU can win prizes from our sponsors). Our goal on the tour is to connect to 50,000 people throughout the month of October and November to show them what 5 Gyres has discovered in our oceans and lakes around the world as well as engage in cleanups down the eastern seaboard. The tour kicks of today in Boston.

We've got some important news to share about plastic pollution upstream in the Great Lakes, the first expedition to study plastics in inland U.S. waters. We've analyzed our data from samples taken in the Great Lakes and what we found is shocking. Microplastic particles, no larger than grains of sand, peppering the lake surface. One sample had more than 600 of them. Yikes! What could they be? After some investigation, we've figured it out. The culprit? Non-natural facial scrub products that employ micro-particle polyethylene beads as an exfoliant. The beads are designed to go from your face down the drain and then to the ocean. We'll be launching a campaign to address this problem in the coming months and we'll need your help to claim another victory for the ocean.

The Great Lakes study demonstrates the 5 Gyres model really well. In a nutshell: we conduct research in places others haven't looked and monitor places that we already know to be polluted, take our scientific data and translate it for the public good through education campaigns, then use our community of passionate, grassroots change agents and ambassadors to drive common sense policy and solutions to plastic pollution. We are the confluence of where science and advocacy meet and the only organization of this kind in the plastic pollution sphere. We don't just produce evidence, we use it to make change.

If you haven't seen our Great Lakes film yet, please check it out.

Valley of the Gods in the heart of Bears Ears National Monument. Mint Images / Getty Images

By Sharon Buccino

This week, Secretary Haaland chose a visit to Bears Ears National Monument as her first trip as Interior Secretary. She is spending three days in Bluff, Utah, a small town just outside the monument, listening to representatives of the five tribes who first proposed its designation to President Obama in 2015. This is the same town where former Secretary Sally Jewell spent several hours at a public hearing in July 2016 before recommending the monument's designation to President Obama.

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By Anthony Richardson, Chhaya Chaudhary, David Schoeman, and Mark John Costello

The tropical water at the equator is renowned for having the richest diversity of marine life on Earth, with vibrant coral reefs and large aggregations of tunas, sea turtles, manta rays and whale sharks. The number of marine species naturally tapers off as you head towards the poles.

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"Secrets of the Whales" is a new series that will start streaming on Disney+ on Earth Day. Disney+

In celebration of Earth Day, a star-studded cast is giving fans a rare glimpse into the secret lives of some of the planet's most majestic animals: whales. In "Secrets of the Whales," a four-part documentary series by renowned National Geographic Photographer and Explorer Brian Skerry and Executive Producer James Cameron, viewers plunge deep into the lives and worlds of five different whale species.

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Spring is an excellent time to begin bird watching in earnest. Eugenio Marongiu / Cultura / Getty Images

The coronavirus has isolated many of us in our homes this year. We've been forced to slow down a little, maybe looking out our windows, becoming more in tune with the rhythms of our yards. Perhaps we've begun to notice more, like the birds hopping around in the bushes out back, wondering (maybe for the first time) what they are.

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The brown pelican is seen on Queen Bess Island in Louisiana in March 2021. Casey Wright / LDWF biologist

Who says you can't go home again?

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