I am fortunate to live in a city with a very active social media community and this past weekend, a dedicated core of volunteers hosted Social Media Camp. One of the presenters was Kris Krug (@kk) and although I did not hear all of his presentation, what I did hear shook me to my core. Now based out of Galiano Island, BC Kris is a talented photographer and all-around creative guy with deep caring for Mother Earth.
You have probably heard about the giant ball of plastic bits and garbage floating around in the northern Pacific Ocean. But as disgusted as we might be with the situation, it is easy to forget about it and go about with our daily lives. What can one person do about bits of plastic thousands of miles away?
Kris Krug is creating a photographic essay of filmaker’s Chris Jordan journey in creating the documentary, Midway. He is one person making a difference, but he needs your help. Chris is creating a documentary about the devastating effects that plastic is having on the animals of Midway Island contrasted by the extraordinary beauty of this faraway place..
Midway Atoll is located half-way between North America and Asia. It was the location of a significant military battle during World War II. Once ravaged by war, this isolated part of the planet is now ravaged by garbage not of its own making. The North Pacific Gyre is created by the cyclical pattern of the ocean’s currents. Debris and garbage dumped into the ocean finds its way into the gyre through one of the four currents that fuels this vortex.
Island inhabitants along the Pacific have been dumping their garbage into the ocean for years. In the past, the ocean could handle the waste – predominantly organic from the small island ecosystems. However, modernization has replaced discarded coconut shells with pop cans, bottles and plastic. Lots and lots of plastic.
The degradation of the plastic through exposure to sunlight and salt water results in the release of toxic chemicals as the plastic breaks down into small pieces. Birds such as albatross dive through the water in search of food and ingest small bits of plastic in the process. Nesting albatross in turn feed their young this plastic which clogs their digestive tracts and kills them. “Of the 21 species of albatrosses recognised by the IUCN, 19 are threatened with extinction.”1
I am sure that the inventor of plastic did not intend for it to kill animals. I am hopeful that the human intelligence that created plastic can also find the solution. We are a tribe. We are one. Working alone, this problem is too overwhelming to tackle, but working together – we are strong.
Below is a trailer for the documentary, Midway by Chris Jordan. After watching this video, may you be moved to take one step to make a difference. And then another and another.