Tracking Trash

Tracking Trash

Flotsam, Jetsam, and the Science of Ocean Motion

Book - 2007
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Aided by an army of beachcombers, oceanographer Dr. Curtis Ebbesmeyer tracks trash in the name of science. From sneakers to hockey gloves, Curt monitors the watery fate of human-made cargo that has spilled into the ocean. The information he collects is much more than casual news; it is important scientific data. And with careful analysis, Curt, along with a community of scientists, friends, and beachcombers alike, is using his data to understand and protect our ocean.

In engaging text and unforgettable images, readers meet the woman who started it all (Curt's mother!), the computer program that makes sense of his data (nicknamed OSCURS), and several scientists, both on land and on the sea, who are using Curt's discoveries to preserve delicate marine habitats and protect the creatures who live in them. A Boston Globe-Horn Book Award Honor Book for Nonfiction.

Publisher: Boston : Houghton Mifflin Co., 2007
ISBN: 9780618581313
Branch Call Number: J 551 .462 BUR
Characteristics: 56 p. :,col. ill.,22 cm


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If a cargo container of shoes falls off a ship, how long will it take them to float ashore? And where will they land? Will they get trapped in the floating Eastern Garbage Patch that’s the size of Alaska? Will they get caught in a ghost net?

JCLLouisaWS Feb 23, 2013

Super geekily enjoyable. Burns does a wonderful job using the floating adventures of Nikes and bathtub toys lost overboard to explain ocean currents, modern shipping, and the impact of trash on the environment.

Jul 07, 2008

While published for children, Tracking Trash is definitely readable by all, and is especially poignant for anyone who would like to think that trash/litter just eventually disappears. The discovery of a floating garbage dump in the ocean the size of Alaska attests to the contrary. A few years ago I had a sudden realization myself at how dependent we are on plastics. Look around you right now: What isn't made of plastic? It's astounding. Two facts that will stick with me: No organism on earth can digest plastic, and plastic doesn't naturally break down into anything ? except smaller pieces of plastic.

This book inspired me to go green in several ways, including putting a stop to purchasing bottled water.

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