In 1997, while sailing from Hawaii to California, amateur scientist Captain Charles Moore made a surprising discovery -- what he calls a vast "garbage patch" of plastic debris in the middle of the Pacific Ocean.
Today, Moore heads the Algalita Marine Research Foundation, which is dedicated to researching the extent of plastic pollution in the world's oceans. Captain Moore has developed procedures to monitor marine and beach plastic pollution, and has done ocean and coastal sampling for plastic fragments over twenty thousand miles of the north Pacific ocean.
Oceanographer Holly Bamford is the director of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Marine Debris Program. The program's aim is to support national and international efforts to prevent, identify, and reduce the occurrence of marine debris, including plastic debris.
Moore and Bamford took your questions on their work.