The latest static in the toxic effects of degradation of plastic is the Southern California Sea Otter. This adorable ecologically very important, intelligent member of the kelp bed community is struggling to survive because of our pollution. Our misuse, over use of toxins will kill us all.
Not only must we stop wrapping, living, eating sleeping, playing with all things plastic, but cleaning up our toxic soup in the ocean is critical if we are all to survive. If man was to disappear today, the plastic in the oceans would continue to breakdown as it is doing now and be forever present in so non-healthy toxic form for hundred of years after man no longer existed.
The contaminants suppress sea otters’ immune systems, making the creatures more susceptible to infectious diseases. Many dead adult otters had enough PCBs to interfere with their physiological functioning. The greatest PCB concentrations were in sea otters that died of infectious diseases. Mortality of breeding age adult especially females will spell doom to the southern sea otter population unless we act to clean up our mess on land, sea and air. The time is now. Every man, woman and child can decrease their use of plastic products and help pick up the litter on the beach, and highways and bi-ways of their country and recycle as much as possible.
The sea otter’s decline in numbers are directly caused by us. Let us all help turn their numbers around and improve live for all of us.
Image 1. courtesy of biologicaldiversity.org/gallery/SouthernSeaOtter
Graph courtesy of Biologicaldiversity.org/SouthernSeaOtter.png