The Larger Issue of Our Watery World

An image from the series showing divers sampling partially treated sewage flowing unimpeded off the coast of Florida
An image from the series showing divers sampling partially treated sewage flowing unimpeded off the coast of Florida

My earlier postings about plastics in the ocean have had family and friends alike question the extent to which this condition is real or am I just exaggerating. A plastic-filled area of the Pacific Ocean the size of the United States? That’s ridiculous! Nobody would let that happen. The oceans get some junk dropped into them now and again but…come on, now.

As individuals, and I include myself, we are simply unconscious of so many things.

Education transforms however, and without hubris I embrace this state of awakening that is the result of my studying these issues. I remember graduate school as a peeling away of layers of obscurity, reaching into the complexities of politics and international relations. There was an exhilaration in that newfound knowledge.

Today, my self-education brings a sense of awe, acute awareness and a heavy feeling of responsibility.

But back to our watery world. For the skeptics or for the interested, please visit this well-done special multimedia series on the declining health of our oceans. This award-winning piece, a 5-part series called “Altered Oceans”, was put together by Kenneth Weiss and Usha Lee McFarling of the Los Angeles Times. Just today the Metcalf Institute announced that the pair had won a $75,000 Grantham Prize for Excellence in Reporting on the Environment. The jurors claimed that the authors of the series:

“did more than simply research the literature and talk to the best minds. They went to the scene to make the case. This extraordinary series gives life to all those generalities about the decline of the oceans in a way that should grab the imaginations not only of politicians responsible for taking corrective steps
but also of ordinary readers.”

The format is powerful. The combination of video interviews, stunning photographs and informative charts and graphs works to reveal the complexities of the profound changes taking place just out of our view.

Let the education begin.

2 thoughts on “The Larger Issue of Our Watery World”

  1. The photo was copied from the online series by the Los Angeles Times. You can view it all here

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