- A new study has but a number on the amount of plastic floating in the oceans: at least 5.25 trillion pieces of plastic, weighing nearly 269,000 tons, are floating around the oceans. The team found that tiny plastic pieces made up the majority of the plastic in the oceans. Smithsonian
- The Ocean Health Index’s third annual ocean evaluation gave ocean health a “D,” or 67 out of 100. The researchers cite overfishing, pollution, climate change, and poor ocean protections as factors leading to the score, though they say many people expected the score to be worse.
- According to a new report by the Assembly Select Committee on Sea Level Rise and the California Economy, California is “woefully unprepared” for sea level rise. The report projects that agriculture, tourism, and fishing industries will be most impacted by sea level rise. Think Progress
- New maps of ocean plastics—the first of their kind—show plastic accumulation levels across the world’s oceans. The maps highlight data from a study released this month that found plastics floating in five subtropical gyres across the world. National Geographic
From the straws in your fountain drink to the soles of our shoes, plastics are a part of our daily lives, and we’re surrounded by them without often realizing it. Unfortunately, as plastic waste makes its way from our households to our oceans, fish and other marine organisms are not only surrounded by plastics too, but ingesting it.
- Scientists are predicting a slighter larger than average “dead zone” for the Chesapeake Bay this summer, meaning that nearly 2 cubic miles of the Bay will lack the needed dissolved oxygen for fish and crabs. The Gulf of Mexico, on the other hand, is predicted to have average-sized dead zone, caused by excessive nutrient pollution from wastewater and agriculture. The Baltimore Sun
- Spain gave the green light on Tuesday for oil exploration off the Canary Islands. Oceana is opposed to this decision, as it could affect 25 marine areas and 82 protected species. Oceana
- Australia’s Queensland Government says they have fulfilled all of UNESCO's requests to improve Great Barrier Reef health—including cutting pesticide run-off by 28 percent since 2008—and therefore, the reef doesn’t need to be added to the World Heritage Site in Danger list. They also claim that the proposed port development and dredge-spoil dumping is not a threat to the reef. Australian Broadcasting Corporation