Rena: destroying Nature in New Zealand

A container ship ran aground on a reef in New Zealand's pristine Bay of Plenty, one of the country's top tourist destinations and an incredible surfing region.

Rena, the 775-foot ship, which originated from Liberia, struck the Astrolabe Reef about 12 nautical miles from Tauranga Harbor, and has produced an oil slick that extends about three miles from the ship.

It is esimated that up to 10,000 gallons of oil have leaked from the ship since the crash and toxic oil is now washing ashore. One of the beaches impacted is Mt. Maunganui Beach, which is a prime surfing area.

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Raptoberfest: say no to plastic

Plastics have undoubtedly helped us to manufacture, package and ship goods more easily, for less money, and in some cases more safely than ever before. But plastics pose a significant threat to our planet as well. The very qualities that make plastic an adaptable and durable product to use, also make it an environmental nightmare.

Plastics do not biodegrade. Instead they break down with exposure to weather and the sun’s ultraviolet rays, into smaller and smaller pieces. When these pieces infiltrate the environment, especially marine environments, they wreak havoc – killing millions of birds and animals annually.

In response to this problem, the Surfrider Foundation founded its Rise Above Plastics campaign. The goal is to raise awareness of the dangers of plastic pollution and focus on finding solutions.

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Sunscreen: saving lives

Researchers from King's College in London announced last week that they could create a sunblock pill from coral, and that it could be available to the masses in the next five years.

The coral, acropora microphthalma, has a unique way of generating its own protection from the sun's damaging UV radiation. If scientists can figure out how to put the coral's natural sunscreen into pill form, this pill might not only eliminate the need for sunblock, but also prevent eye damage caused by UV rays.

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