Marine Newsletter #6 2013 – June

Highlights from the Marine Division at GRID-Arendal for June 2013

Featured Project

'Clean a Beach' ('Aksjon Rydd Strand')
How long does it take for a glass bottle that has been thrown in the sea, to break down? Or an aluminium can? What happens to all the plastic that ends up in the ocean? If you ask a 9th-grader in one of the schools around Arendal, chances are good they will know the answers to these questions, thanks to an awareness raising campaign that GRID-Arendal has been involved in.

On 11 and 12 June, more than 300 pupils from five local schools, most from grade 9 and some from grade 8, had a different schoolday outdoors. They went out to some of the most popular beaches in the area to clear them from litter and waste, and they found a lot of it. In the weeks before the actual beach cleaning, the various classes were visited by representatives from the local department of the Norwegian Institute of Marine Research (Flødevigen Research Station) and the environmental department of the County Governor (Fylkesmannen i Aust-Agder). In an interactive way, they learned about all the problems caused by marine waste, and how long it takes to break down various materials once they end up in the sea.

The campaign was coordinated by Arendal Municipality, and funded by Aust-Agder County. 4H Aust-Agder made a set of questions about marine waste for the pupils to answer while they were cleaning the beaches, the local waste management company Agder Renovasjon collected the waste, and GRID-Arendal contributed by making a photo exhibition, showing art work that the pupils made from the waste they found (see also Picture of the Month).

For more information, please contact Rannveig Nilsen.

Map of the Month

Marine debris accumulation locations in the North Pacific Ocean
This map from the United States' National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) shows some of the major ocean currents in the North Pacific Ocean, and the main areas where marine debris is accumulating as a result of the currents and winds.

There is not one big "garbage patch", as it is popularly named, but rather several smaller areas. These areas have a higher concentration of plastic than other parts of the ocean, and much of the debris found there are small bits of plastic (microplastics) that are suspended throughout the water column.

Click on the image to view the full map and learn more about marine debris.


Recent events
Seminars/meetings/conferences related to the marine environment where representatives from GRID-Arendal have participated:

  • 3rd Dräger EU-US Conference on Future Oceans: Good Governance for Sustainable Marine Development, Lisbon, Portugal, 3-6 June.
  • World Oceans Day, globally, 8 June.
  • 'Clean a Beach' ('Aksjon Rydd Strand'), Arendal, Norway, 11 and 12 June – awareness raising campaign with pupils from grades 8 and 9 from five local schools.

Upcoming events

26 August-6 September
Arendal, Norway: 4th Technical Training Workshop under the West Africa Training and Capacity Building Programme for the Establishment of the Outer Limits of the Continental Shelf Beyond 200 Nautical Miles.
For more information, please contact Peter Harris.

Did you know that...

...marine debris does not only accumulate near the ocean surface and in shallow depths? It has also been found in large amounts in the deep sea, such as in Monterey Canyon, California. Much of the debris was found below 2,000 metres.
Source: EurekAlert
...the company Ecover will use plastic waste retrieved from the sea to create an entirely new type of sustainable and recyclable plastic bottle? Plastic trawled from the sea will be combined with a plastic made from sugar cane ('Plant-astic') and recycled plastic.
Source: The Guardian

Picture of the Month
Winner of the 'Clean a Beach' art/photo competition. The artwork - 'Drunkenness at the beach' - was made by Nina Maria Hegland, Helene Marie Albretsen, Maria Selena Mosvald, Håkon Jøssang and Ole Gundersen from grade 9, Birkenlund school.Photo: Håkon Jøssang

Our favorite website of the month

Midway Film

Disclaimer: GRID-Arendal does not necessarily endorse the content of external websites, and provides them for information purposes only. If you would like your website to be featured here, please contact Rannveig Nilsen.

EarthWire Marine

EarthWire Marine is a free online news service provided by GRID-Arendal. You can get marine environment news e-mailed to you every day or sign up to an RSS feed. Registering is simple. We pledge to protect your privacy, and users can at any time unsubscribe from the service. To subscribe, visit the EarthWire Marine website.

For previous editions of this Marine Newsletter, please visit our Marine Division website.

The Marine Newsletter will take a summer break in July. Next edition will be out in the end of August. We wish everyone a nice summer!

Tuesday 02 Jul 2013