Free lecture on ocean garbage patch March 2

Capt. Charles Moore, who 12 years ago sailed across a Texas-sized patch of garbage in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, will give a free lecture at 7 p.m. March 2 at Solana Beach Presbyterian Church.

The talk will focus on reducing our plastic footprint, which he says has a more harmful effect on the ocean than its carbon counterpart. Moore will talk about plastic’s responsibility for the deaths of 100,000 marine mammals, millions of seabirds and an “untold” number of fish. He said plastic debris from Japan and California, in different stages of decomposition, travel by ocean currents to this spot somewhere in between.

“I’m looking at ending the age of the single-use throwaway individual service packet that has no afterlife,” he said. “The logical extension of the way we’re going is to have every single M&M in plastic and every toothpick in its own plastic wrapper as if we’re worried about toothpicks rubbing up against each other.”

Moore first discovered this large garbage area on his way back from a trip in Hawaii.

Moore said the debris, which consists of plastic, light bulbs and even toothbrushes, is mostly invisible by satellite because it floats just below the ocean surface and is hidden by reflection. However, it is now estimated this area of garbage has grown to twice the size of Texas since first being discovered.

For more information on attending the lecture, contact Marilee McLean at (858) 259-9126 or Judy Hegenauer at (858) 481-1644.

— Jonathan Horn