GIS Maps of Plastic Density in the North Pacific Subtropical Gyre

Gyre_Count_Density_1999-2008_001“Since 1999 Algalita has been collecting data on plastic pollution in the NPSG. Originally Algalita suspected the “Eastern Garbage Patch” as the area of highest debris accumulation. As more data is collected we are discovering that the boundaries of the original Eastern Garbage Patch are likely an underestimation of the prevalence of plastic pollution in the NPSG. It is important to note that not one sample collected during any of our 6 research expeditions has been free of plastic!

“In attempt to understand the scope of the plastic pollution, the ORV Alguita has both resampled the same locations within the NPSG and extended our sample range. By resampling the same area we can compare the repeated sample locations to try and figure out the rate of plastic accumulation in the area. By extending our sample range we are gaining a better perspective on the pervasiveness of this problem.”