The Great Pacific Garbage Patch


Stop littering in the ocean because it looks like a dump.Stop littering in the Pacific OceanPage 84 of the Girl Scout book Wow, World of Water sent quite a wave of alarm through my daughter’s Brownie Troop. On page 84 is a story about The Great Pacific Garbage Patch.  The story says that the world’s largest dump floats in the Pacific Ocean and contains more than 100 million tons of garbage, mostly plastics. The garbage patch occupies a large, calm region of ocean surrounded by prevailing currents that form the North Pacific Gyre. A gyre is any large system of rotating ocean currents. These circular currents draw in floating debris in the same way a whirlpool created by children swimming in a circle draws leaves and dirt into the center of a swimming pool.

The Brownies were upset by the idea of a floating dump “the size of Texas.” When they read that more than 1 million animals die each year because they become entangled in floating plastic or they mistake plastic for food and eat it, they were moved to action. I heard the question that has started many a movement for change: “What can we do to help?” The girls held an impromptu planning session and decided to make posters about The Great Pacific Garbage Patch and ask the principal of their elementary school if they could hang them up in a hall at school. Change starts with a step. Just one small act can make a difference. Three hundred students pass those posters each day. If one child stops to read them and is moved to recycle one plastic bottle or to start using a reusable bottle, then one less bottle makes it into the ocean and perhaps one less animal dies.

stop littering

Let the Brownies and Barking Frog Farm know about the steps you are taking to make the planet a healthier place for all of us.

mother nature network

Definition of Ocean Gyre

Gorilla in the Greenhouse

Stop hurting the animals home.

Don't be a litter bug.Do Not Litter


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4 Responses to The Great Pacific Garbage Patch

  1. kellytonks says:

    wow, well done Brownies!!

    Incredible story, did not know it igsisted, what an incredible image!!!!

  2. kellytonks says:


    and “well done brownies is funny;-)

  3. Melissa says:

    I love reading about how the kids of today are focusing on the environment, this gives me hope for our future!

    My kids and I did an interesting project with a photo of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch – we tried to pick out as many items that we could recognize and that we use in our daily life and figure out how to reduce our use of those tips of items. Kind of a Where’s Waldo but with trash floating in the ocean.

  4. Ellen says:

    Wow…didn’t know this existed!

    I like the idea of picking out the stuff in the picture that we use everyday. Hits close to home and makes you think about what you are buying, how it’s packaged,and how you can better reuse and recycle.

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