Why The Midway Islands Are Vitally Important To Our Planet’s Future

Located between America and Asia, these three remote islands are facing a crisis of unfathomable magnitude. While humans are the cause of this problem, they can also be the solution.

1. This is a Laysan albatross hanging out on the beach on a Midway Island. If you look at his surroundings, you’ll see plastic pieces, large and small.

2. This is Chris Jordan (and an albatross). Jordan and his crew have been working on the Midway Project, a film that shows the plight of these birds in the midst of pollution.

3. The Midway Islands are a group of three islands in the northern Pacific. They’re halfway between America and Asia.

4. These islands are home to diverse wildlife, and they also were the site of the Battle of Midway, a pivotal moment in World War II.

5. Oh, the wildlife is really cute. Just look at that baby. That’s a really cute baby.

6. This one is too!

7. So the Midway Islands are important for another reason: They’re situated within the great Garbage Patch of the Pacific Ocean, and much of its water and land is saturated with plastics and trash.

8. Which means that all of these amazing (and adorable) creatures are being poisoned by the trash that surrounds them.

9. Plastic is mistaken for food, and many of the birds ingest the trash.

10. Yes, even the adorable babies.

11. Which means that this fuzzy little baby has plastic in his stomach.

12. And that plastic? Yeah, it will kill him.

13. This isn’t an uncommon sight on the Midway Islands.

14. Which makes sense when you realize that all of this stuff was taken from the albatross nesting area.

15. All of this.

16. Yep, and this.

17. And, as this video shows, the plastics affect all kinds of animals, down to the plankton level, because there are small pieces in the sand and water.

18. So what can you do to help? A lot!

19. You can donate to the Midway Journey to help them as they educate the public about the environmental crisis on the islands.

20. You can also try to decrease your plastic usage, and remember that each item lives on long after you’re done with it.

21. You can research the possibilities (or lack thereof) for destroying the Garbage Patch.

22. And you can encourage scientists to develop better biodegradable packaging that won’t end up on beaches.

23. So little albatross babies can stay fluffy and cute like this.

24. And this adult albatross can stay majestic and strong like this.

25. And this sea turtle can stay graceful and tough like this.

26. And this heartbreaking video can become the distant past, not the horrifying present.

Video available at: http://vimeo.com/25563376.

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