The Real Garbage Patch: Plastic Pollution in Our Oceans

Presented by Stiv Wilson, Communications Director for 5 Gyres Institute
Thursday, August 25, 2011, 7:00pm
Swan Hall Auditorium
URI – Kingston Campus
60 Upper College Road, Kingston, RI 02881

Plastics are gathering in our oceans – killing marine life and damaging valuable resources. Hear a firsthand account of what these oceanic “garbage patches” are really like and what you can do to stop them.

Plastic is forever, with virtually every piece of petroleum based plastic ever made still in existence; the vast majority of which ends up in our world’s oceans. The Rhode Island Chapter of the Surfrider Foundation is reaching out to the Rhode Island community to raise awareness and draw attention to this issue. On Thursday, August 25th at 7:00pm, Stiv Wilson – freelance environmental journalist/photojournalist and Communications Director for The 5 Gyres Institute will share his experiences from months spent at sea in these garbage patches. This event is free & open to the public and suitable for all ages. Doors open at 6:30pm in Swan Hall Auditorium (formerly Independence Hall), 60 Upper College Road, URI – Kingston Campus.

There is a section of the Pacific Ocean twice the size of the continental United States called the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, within it 100 million tons of plastic swirl in a vortex of currents. There is so much plastic in the water that it outnumbers zooplankton by six to one! This plastic ends up in the stomachs of marine birds and animals. In fact, one million seabirds and 100,000 marine mammals die globally each year due to ingestion of, or from entanglement in plastics. Just a few compelling statistics on why it is critical to our oceans and beaches, and our humanity, that we dramatically reduce our use of plastics (particularly single-use plastics), starting today.

Bring your questions and join us for what promises to be an informative, enlightening and engaging discussion.

This event is sponsored by The Rhode Island Chapter of the Surfrider Foundation, with support from the University of Rhode Island, Department of Natural Resources Science. For more information about this event or to schedule an interview with Stiv Wilson, contact Kira Stillwell at 401-742-1176 or

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