|Harnessing the Power of Partnerships and Green Chemistry to Solve Ocean Pollution
Since 1993 the Department of Toxic Substances Control has celebrated Pollution Prevention Week (P2 Week) by creating partnerships to reduce the generation of hazardous waste. This year, DTSC will continue the tradition by partnering with organizations dedicated to the protecting our oceans. P2 Week 2009 (September 21-27) will focus on different solutions to ocean pollution and ways in which green chemistry can offer the ultimate solution.
Pollution Prevention Week Partners
For us, Pollution Prevention Week is about renewing our efforts to protect the environment and health of all Californians. This year we are especially looking forward to working with a diverse group of partners who offer different viewpoints on how to tackle ocean pollution issues. Through our combined efforts, we will increase the awareness of these issues and create a concerted effort to reduce ocean pollution now, and stop it completely in the future. These partnerships forged during the 2009 P2 Week include:
Green Chemistry the Ultimate Solution to Ocean Pollution
The old model of waste management was based on the principle of dilution: when you threw something out it would be diluted enough in the environment that it would cease to be harmful. The ultimate receptor for this practice was, and in many cases continues to be, our oceans. Because the vastness of our oceans we believed that whatever we dumped into them would never come back to haunt us. However, the ocean garbage patches in the north pacific gyre and high levels of flame retardant and other chemicals found in seabird eggs, harbor seals and other animals show the interconnectedness between us and the ocean. There are many actions focused on cleaning up the oceans and stopping current sources of pollution. However, if we concentrate only on the immediate problems, the threats of today will likely just be replaced by new ones. The Department of Toxic Substances Control is focusing further ahead than simply reacting to environmental threats as they emerge, we are engaged in a movement to stop future damage by applying the principles of green chemistry.
♦ To learn more about green chemistry or visit:
OEHHA Scientist Dr. Margy Gassel Kicks Off P2 Week
OEHHA's Dr. Margy Gassel presented what she saw while spending four weeks at sea exploring the North Pacific gyre where an astonishing amount of plastic debris has accumulated. DTSC kicked off Pollution Prevention Week by hearing a first hand account of a voyage to the "plastic vortex." Articles about the voyage have appeared in the Sacramento Bee and several bay area newspapers. To learn more about Dr. Gassel's experience wading into the "plastic vortex" where plastic accumulates in the middle of the ocean to the detriment of marine life and ultimately, ourselves, vist: http://www.oehha.ca.gov/fish/oehhakaisei.html.
Download the 2009 P2 Week Poster
Click on image to download poster.
Other Pollution Prevention Week Information
♦ Do you know the history of Pollution Prevention Week? Get the scoop at: http://www.dtsc.ca.gov/PollutionPrevention/P2Week/p2-background.cfm
♦ Check out some of DTSC's past efforts for Pollution Prevention Week:
♦ Contact DTSC staff about Pollution Prevention: