Happy New Year!
Today is the first day of the year 2013. Did you make a new Years resolution? A lot of the MSI staff did and here is what they are looking forward to this year.
Plastic waste is one of the largest sources of pollution in the ocean. Plastic does not decompose, but it does break down into smaller pieces known as “micro-plastics.” This is an issue because these micro-plastics look like plankton, the drifting aquatic plants and animals that make up the base of the marine food web. Phytoplankton (plant drifters) receive their energy from the sun and zooplankton (animal drifters) feed on them. There are many marine organisms that consume plankton, such as baleen whales and northern anchovies. When an animal consumes micro-plastics the animal feels full but isn’t receiving the energy or nutrients that they need, and will actually starve to death. Next time that you use a plastic bag think about the fish and try alternate materials, like a cloth bag for grocery shopping, or reusable containers for lunches and leftovers.
As for me, my goal is to be healthier by using less plastic, exercising more, eating healthier foods, and as always enjoying teaching the unique programs that MSI has to offer.
One of the unique programs that MSI has to offer is the Delta Discovery Voyage. In January and February, the R/V Robert G. Brownlee will be docked in Antioch. MSI staff will be teaching 5th graders from several school districts in Contra Costa county This is made possible by a group of sponsors:
Contra Costa Water District, Delta Diablo Water District, Central Contra Costa Sanitation District, Mt. View Sanitation District, Lesher Foundation, DOW Chemical, Delta Science Center, Watershed Project.
When I was in 5th grade at Westwood Elementary in Concord, CA, I went on the Delta field trip. At that time it was on a ship called the Crago. MSI took over the Delta program in 2002. It is amazing what piques students’ interest and how it can continue throughout their lives. I loved this fieldtrip and even though I was already interested in marine science this made me know for sure that I wanted a career in the field.