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EAS 217 F20

EAS 217 Course Website for Fall 2020


Submerged marine festival ( plastic)

  • The forum was rich on researches from biologists . As I live in nyc, it was interesting to see that researches on aquatic life was made on the Hudson river. Tide deck at piers 26 was a great initiative in a sense that it is a feature that provide educates visitors on the river. Tide pools were impressive. I will definitely go visit the tide deck.

    Also it was exciting to learn about the billion oysters project which intend to restore the native eastern oyster population to NY harbor.

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  • Since the video had to do with plastics, although plastics are bad for the environment due to the time it takes to decompose, I feel like there is somewhat a positive impact when it comes to the manufacturing because it requires less energy to make say plastic bags rather than paper bags and perhaps other materials that we use in a daily basis.

    -Josue Criollo

    The Submerged marine festival on microplastic was an eye opener for me. Just the fact that there will be more plastic by weight in the ocean than fishes by 2050 is shocking. We as a society have to drastically cut down the usage of plastic as soon as possible. Cutting down the use of plastic is no longer a choice for us, it is a necessity. It is not only harming the aquatic life but also harming us since we as society rely heavily on the ocean for food and other natural resources.

    While it is true that manufacturing plastics requires less energy than manufacturing other materials, the long term impact of that plastics have on the environment far outweighs the slight positive of low manufacturing costs. The damage that plastics have caused in comparison to other materials is enormous and I believe that the slight positive of a low energy manufacturing process is consolation price at best.

    MICROPLASTICS! I have always known that normal-size plastics that are dumped into water bodies pose a huge threat to the marine life as well as human life. However, I never really thought of microplastics, and how they are as damaging and threatful as other plastics, as a matter of fact, they could be more dangerous since they easily get into the food chain. the microplastics removal technique that was expressed in the video seems a little insufficient, and such a huge threat should be treated more responsibly.

    my question is. isn’t there any more modern technique that could help collecting microplastics in a faster and more efficient way.

    After being part of the webinar, there were many subjects that got stuck within my thoughts and really impact me because I was able to connect other subjects with the main concept of the presentation. Climate change is not just related to climate and humans, it is also impacting really hard the marine life. Considering that through the climate change, which is basically the concept of changes in temperature and sun radiations, it can be linked to temperature raised not just in land but can also affect temperature in water and therefore change the life quality of those marine creatures.

    Also, the microplastics. So common in our daily lives, in every single and minimum detail as it is when we do laundry. How we keep destroying our ecosystem with our daily habits and how unconscious, at least I was, of the permanent damage I keep causing. And the fact that they are perceived in micro-scale, so therefore can not be detected and can be found even in the food that we eat. Its impact to marine life, how it damages and alters the marine’s life quality  is a lot more severe than what I thought. Which also affects us (in)directly.

    The SUBMERGE marine festival really surprised me, in a good way. The fact that soon there will be more plastic than fish in the ocean is mind boggling. It really makes me worry and think about what our planet will look like in the near future. I also found it interesting that how these micro plastics are technically poisoning us, since it bioaccumulates from different animals eating each other. We need to stop the use of plastics in non essential packaging as a start, since we are basically ingesting plastic from our seafood. Since plastic is non bio degradable, is there any true way to get rid of it from our environment?

    I think from the presentation it seems like they are trying to come up with ways to better collect microplastics but as of now there are no better ways in use. The trash boom in the river though is a huge help to prevent the plastic waste from decomposing into microplastic. However, once it has become a microplastic it is often to small for most filters to catch.


    The different events from the talks about our sewage system, marine life in the Hudson to the effects of plastics and methods to combat the plastic pollution were all informative and definitely eye-opening not only to the effects we have on the entirety of the Earth but also the huge impact that we have right here in our local neighborhoods. One thing that struck me was the talks on microplastics in the Hudson and the oceans. It’s crazy to think about how our plastic litter such as plastic bottles can get turned into these microplastics and have such a devastating effect on the marine population. Although not talked about in this event, I have read that microplastics not only affect marine life but at some point get introduced into our food supply and eventually into us, which in turn we start to harm ourselves. Not just in the waters either, microplastics are also prevalent in the air too. We have to find a solution to clean our waters and our air.

    I have always been interested in plastic and all the subcategories that comes with that broad term. It was so interesting to learn about plastic pollution here in NYC. The New York sewer system is a complex system but the model they showed during the presentation made it easy to understand and digest. I didn’t know it took as little as 10th of an inch of rain water in an hour to discharge so much wastewater into our waters and that’s was a scale for New York City not New York State. I think it’s really disturbing to know not only that there’s a estimate to when there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish but also how soon it is. I would like to use their database and the national database that they mention for research on how to educate others on how to properly recycle.


    Plastics have had a massive impact on humanity. They are an extremely versatile class of materials that have made so many things possible. Single use plastics on the other hand are completely wasteful and destructive. While they save money and energy on the short run, the negative ecological impacts from them will make us pay in the long term. You are right that degradable materials cost much more to make now, but I believe we should focus on ways to bring down the cost of degradable materials in order to make it economical to use.

    Personally, what I found surprising is that the plastic problem is so acute here.

    I’ve heard many times about how plastic can contaminate our waters. However, when it’s covered in the media, it usually covers what is happening in the big oceans (the Pacific, the Atlantic). There hasn’t been much coverage on our local waterways.

    The plastic segment brought home how serious this problem really is. It showed that a microscale version of that problem is happening within the city limits. It demonstrated that there is no region that is immune. I hope that the local media take inspiration from this, and show more of how global pollution problems are manifesting themselves in our areas.

    With the webinar I learned a lot about NYC waterways, the wildlife present and the work dynamic of some organizations here, but when it comes to environmental problems, plastic pollution is generally the one I’m most interested about. In NYC there’s a lot of consumption, movement and obviously a high level of population, so I shouldn’t be surprised that there’s actual plastic pollution in these rivers, although we wouldn’t be able to see it with the naked eye. Micro-plastic is a very serious issue, so I’m glad that there are organizations here studying it and are willing to work with it and make it better.

    It’s curious to see what the affects of the micro-plastics are as it bio-accumulates and is eaten by us as Jayson also mentioned. Micro-plastics have also been found in freshwater rivers far from people in places like the Adirondacks and large national parks like Yellowstone.There is a cool data-set here:

    Gabreielle you are right, a lot of plastics, a lot of damage. I’ve thought about the cheapness of plastics and its economic benefits for businesses also, but that probably is only the case because the indirect costs of remediation, loss of sea-life, reduced ocean productivity and increased health costs by individuals aren’t shouldered by them.

    At the same time, it is because of general public complicity that we are so addicted to single use plastics. Everyone was happier using plastic than being inconvenienced by having to bring and maintain their own bags or containers. That people are moving away from that is a great sign of change, hopefully.

    You should definitely check the work from The Ocean Cleanup! they are a Netherlands based organization working to obtain solutions for the plastic pollution problem. One of their technologies, which I would say it’s like a trash boom but in a larger scale, it can be used in open water, and it has caught micro plastics in previous tests.

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