30 Oct '14, 2pm

114,000 pounds of trash found at uninhabited islands

114,000 pounds of trash found at uninhabited islands

The Northwestern Hawaiian Islands are remote, with just 10 tiny atolls spread across 1,200 miles of Earth's largest ocean. They have a few seasonal residents but no permanent human population, instead providing an expansive habitat for coral, fish, seabirds, marine mammals and other wildlife. Yet despite their distance from civilization — and their inclusion in a 140,000 square-mile marine preserve — these otherwise pristine islands are littered with garbage . During a recent cleanup mission, 17 divers from the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) collected 57 tons of trash in 33 days , ranging from bottle caps and cigarette lighters to long-forgotten fishing nets. That's 114,000 pounds, or a daily average of 203 pounds per diver. Although heavy machinery helps with some heavy lifting, the fragility of coral reefs requires divers to do most of the wo...

Full article: http://www.mnn.com/earth-matters/wilderness-resources/blo...

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