Plastic, Ahoy!: Investigating the Great Pacific Garbage Patch

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Product Details

Millbrook Press (Tm)
Publish Date
10.9 X 9.2 X 0.5 inches | 1.0 pounds
Library Binding

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About the Author

Patricia Newman's books inspire young readers to seek connections to the real world. Her titles encourage readers to use their imaginations to solve real world problems and act on behalf of their communities. These books include Sibert Honor title Sea Otter Heroes: The Predators That Saved an Ecosystem; Orbis Pictus Recommended Book Planet Ocean: Why We All Need a Healthy Ocean; Bank Street College Best Book Zoo Scientists to the Rescue; Booklist Editor's Choice Ebola: Fears and Facts; and Green Earth Book Award winner Plastic, Ahoy! Investigating the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. Patricia frequently speaks at schools and conferences to share how children of any age can affect change. Visit her at
Annie Crawley, aka Ocean Annie, travels and works around the world. Trained as a photo and broadcast journalist, her work has been broadcast and published worldwide. From Indonesia to Galapagos, Belize to Papua New Guinea, India to Australia, Annie has explored and documented life on our planet. Based in Seattle, Annie works as a producer, writer, photographer, and motivational speaker. She founded Dive Into Your Imagination, a multimedia company producing books, enhanced eBooks, educator guides, films, motivational art, and more. Annie was the photographer and filmmaker aboard SEAPLEX sponsored by Project Kaisei and Samy's Camera. Annie specializes in the underwater realm and also works as a photo, video, and scuba diving instructor. She is a member of the Women Divers Hall of Fame and created a dive team for kids and teens. Visit her online at and


"This is an informative book about how plastics are affecting the Pacific Ocean. A research team on the ship New Horizon gathers pertinent information from the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. It is here that millions of pieces of plastics are found. Three women discuss their inquiry into the effects of plastics; while they discuss their hypothesis, it is evident that many more questions are raised. Information about the garbage patch and how the ocean community is adapting and changing is discovered. Captivating, captioned photographs from the ship's voyage fill each page. Vivid and detailed diagrams provide further details to the studies. Additional bits of information are presented. This is an interesting read for all curious ocean explorers." --Library Media Connection


"Plastic has become a staple of material culture in the modern world, but few people give much thought to the countless pounds of waste they discard each day. Discovered in 1997, the Great Pacific Garbage Patch is a wide swath of postconsumer plastic waste that is found at the confluence of four major ocean currents in a vast area known as the North Pacific Central Gyre. This photojournalistic book follows three young female scientists living and working aboard a small research ship that was part of the Scripps Environmental Accumulation of Plastics Expedition. It details the researchers' process of developing a hypothesis, collecting evidence, and designing experiments to learn more about the impact of the Garbage Patch on marine life. The book is replete with Crawley's dynamic photos of both their scientific findings and the challenges of life aboard a tiny research boat. Newman successfully summarizes all of their complex research findings into straightforward and doable tips for minimizing environmental impact. An engaging and worthwhile read, this will surely make young readers think twice about their trash." --Booklist


"This intriguing book informs readers about the overconsumption of plastic with an even distribution of facts, progress, and helpful ways to reduce reliance on plastic. The Great Garbage Patch consists of debris from water sources that feed into the Pacific Ocean. Discovered in 1997, it was formed through millions, or perhaps billions, of plastic pieces. Through meeting three young people involved in the project, readers gain a personal connection to the project, which included three weeks of examining samples of plastic and ocean organisms to discover the effects of plastic on marine life. 'Ocean Science' tidbits elaborate on scientists' research tools, marine life food chain, and survival of sea animals. The team's adjustment to ship life and descriptions of how they spent their free time, their sleeping quarters, and meals add enjoyable personal touches. Pictures and maps are clean, colorful, and annotated. Information boxes explore further scientific topics, such as how the crew applied the scientific method in order to frame their research. The balance between text, graphics, and photographs is ideal. Emphasis on scientists needing help from children and adults in order to solve the problem of plastics killing ocean life empowers readers, as do tips for reducing personal reliance on plastics. Source notes, glossary, and sources for further information are included. Recommended for all general collections needing an attractive and informative look at the environmental effect of plastics that encourages young readers to take meaningful and doable action." --School Library Journal


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Talking Trash: Investigating the Great Pacific Garbage Patch
by Amanda Morales
Sport Diver Magazine

Americans generated a staggering 251 million tons of trash in 2012, according to the Environmental Protection Agency, with plastic waste alone accounting for 32 million tons of that total.
A new book, Plastic, Ahoy! Investigating the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, examines what happens when tons of plastic and other debris make its way to the ocean to become part of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. Author Patricia Newman spent three weeks at sea with Scripps Institution marine biologists and researchers exploring the effects of the plastic and other trash on marine life.

Plastic, Ahoy! follows Miriam Goldstein, Chelsea Rochman and Darcy Taniguchi -- -all members of the 2009 Scripps -Environmental Accumulation of Plastic Expedition -- aboard the research vessel as they run tests on water and plastic samples to determine the impact of this pollution on the region. Photographer Annie Crawley captures images of the garbage patch -- which is the result of pollution from shores, rivers and oceans -- in this eye-opening book.


"In 2009 three graduate students boarded the New Horizon with the Scripps Environmental Accumulation of Plastic Expedition to study the now infamous garbage-riddled gyre in the Pacific Ocean. Each student had a particular mission. Miriam wanted to know whether the marine insect Halobates, which thrives while drifting around on plastic bits, deprives other organisms of food. Darcy focused on the relative populations of phytoplankton near the shore and in the gyre. Chelsea, a chemist, gathered information on leeching and absorption of chemicals as the plastic breaks down at sea. The spotlight on how these three scientists-in-training go about constructing their experiments and gathering data is similar to that of the Scientists in the Field series, only pitched here for a slightly younger audience. This title lacks the allure of the rubber ducky and sneaker flotsam (not to mention the effervescent personality of its oceanographer subject) in Loree Griffin Burns' Tracking Trash (BCCB 5/07), but Newman does a solid job of walking readers through the trio of studies in an orderly fashion, and plenty of color photographs convey a sense of ship life for readers more drawn to the adventure than the science. Too much truly useful information is tucked into sidebars and lengthy picture captions, though, forcing readers into a dilemma of whether to lose the narrative flow to catch the background, or stick with the story and backtrack later for the missing pieces. Source notes and an index are included, as well as a handful of books and a brief but well selected list of websites for further research." --The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books