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Plastic Coastal Waters

Swirling out in the North Pacific Ocean is the "Great Pacific Garbage Patch" which contains one of the highest known levels of plastic particulate suspended in the upper water column. The patch is estimated to be the size of the state of Texas and could be considered the largest landfill in the world.

However, one doesn't have to look too far offshore to find plastic particles in the water. Take for example this photo of Phoebe. She is a bright yellow, autonomous underwater glider that CMOP uses to gather information about the coastal waters of Washington and Oregon. On one mission, plastic particles worked their way inside the outer free flooding cowling. The photograph shows what the field team found when they opened her up after being recovered.

Read about the mission to rescue Phoebe

View data collected by Phobe


(Photo: Katie Rathmell/CMOP)