From September 2 to September 8, 2013, I am joining the Plastic Pollution Coalition in partnership with Central American NGOs as part of an expert panel traveling to Panama and Guatemala to discuss issues related to plastic pollution – eco-system degradation, public health and environmental justice. The group is led by the Plastic Pollution Coalition Executive Director, Daniella Russo, and also includes Greg Baxter, Ph.D and myself, representing the Sea Turtle Restoration Project.
Our Central American partner organizations include ANCON (Panama) and ABIMA (Guatemala).
I am really excited to be part of this international effort, as marine life is under direct threat in Central America from plastic pollution. I have traveled from Hawaii to Costa Rica from my home in California, studying marine debris density at all these locations. My findings indicate serious concerns for Costa Rica, and neighboring Central American countries, because of the high density of both plastic in the ocean ecosystem and sensitive, endangered sea turle life-stages. The juvenile and hatching sea turtles are most threatened by plastic in the ocean, and they are struggling to survive in Central America due to many illegal fishing and legal, but destructive, commercial fishing.