25+ Great Science and Nature Books for Five to Eight Year olds
The Thursday Reader, 9.06

Ocean Housekeeping: Get Involved, Sept. 15

0618581316 Tracking Trash: Flotsam Jetsam, and the Science of
Ocean Motion

by Loree Griffin Burns
Houghton Mifflin, 2007
ISBN-13: 9780618581313
For readers aged 10 and up

One of the year's best books for children is Loree Griffin Burns' Tracking Trash: Flotsam, Jetsam, and the Science of Ocean Motion. Burns writes about a scientist who studies ocean currents by keeping tabs on "flotsam and jetsam, floating trash that falls or is thrown from ships at sea." Augmented by full-color photographs, discussions of giant sneaker spills, masses of plastic netting bigger than school buses, and a Pacific ocean garbage dump the size of Alaska clearly illustrate not only water-current patterns but also the enormous toll that pollution is taking.

Some 80% of the Garbage Patch's contents comes from materials that wash into our oceans from land-based rivers and storm drains. (The Garbage Patch, by the way takes a week to get through by ship.) "What can I do?" a reader is likely to respond. Reduce, reuse, recycle, of course, and more. Loree is a blogging friend, and through her site, I found out about International Coastal Cleanup Day, scheduled in most places for Saturday, September 15th. You can find a cleanup site near your home, at the Ocean Conservancy's web site. The organization Save the Sound is coordinating all the efforts in Connecticut, for example.

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