20 March 2009

Tracking Trash : Flotsam, jetsam, and the science of ocean motion by Loree Griffin Burns

Where does garbage go? One Nike sneaker washed up on the coast of Washington state caught the attention of one man. The discovery of hundreds more Nike sneakers (and rubber duckies, and plastic toys, etc.) over time encouraged scientists to track such trash, which is referred to as flotsam and jetsam. By studying ocean currents, scientists are able to determine how debris is carried through the ocean, where it might wash ashore, and what can be done to protect the living things suffering as a result of careless or accidental dumping. The statistics presented in this book are staggering, especially with regard to the destruction of marine life. What began as an oceanographic experiment has turned into a serious endeavor to make people around the world aware of their role in the health and survival of our whole planet. This book forces readers to look at their own actions and to take responsibility for the part they play in keeping the oceans – and land – clean and safe. This is a very readable book, filled with photographs and maps, offering an interesting scientific foundation to lead into a lesson in social and environmental consciousness.

Recommended for middle school students who are researching for a report, are interested in learning more about the ocean and marine life, or are particularly intrigued by trash!

Call number: YA 363.728 BURNS

Reviewed by kate the librarian

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