Tag Archives: Conservation

Toying around with Ocean Currents

Adrift.org screenshot
If you drop a flotilla of duckies near San Diego, most of them end up in the North Pacific Gyre, a.k.a. the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.

A few years ago, I joined a clean-up at Kamilo Beach on the Big Island of Hawai’i.  I noted the things we found:

  • fishing gear
  • whale vertebrae
  • a glass float
  • hagfish traps
  • shoes
  • possible tsunami debris from Japan
  • top of a toy rocket
  • action figures
  • wheels from a toy car
  • toothbrushes
  • lighters

That list has been stashed on my phone for two years.


Because each item tells a story, from forgotten toys to mislaid fishing nets.  Each piece of flotsam was made, lost, and carried across the Pacific to the world’s most isolated island chain.

I wanted to learn that story.  And, if you’ve ever lost a flip-flop at a beach, or written a message in a bottle, you might want to learn where it went.

You can find out at one of my favorite sites, Adrift. Continue reading Toying around with Ocean Currents


Burned stump at Tidbinbilla Nature ReserveMy time in Australia’s dry tropics amounts to three words: Fires. Fires everywhere.  I’m sure the region has a certain amount of paranoia about this year’s growing El Nino, which brings droughts to the region, and the increased threat of wildfires.  But, drought or no drought, controlled burns have been a traditional part of Australia’s ecological management for 40,000 years.

Continue reading Pyromania