Floating Junk Creating New Marine Ecosystem

Pete Matamoros, 81, walks near the Colorado River under U.S. Highway 183 at the Colorado River Wildlife Sanctuary in Austin, picking up trash as a form of exercise.
Pete Matamoros, 81, walks near the Colorado River under U.S. Highway 183 at the Colorado River Wildlife Sanctuary in Austin, picking up trash as a form of exercise.

According to the Los Angeles Times, the environmental effects of the so-called plastisphere "are only beginning to be understood." The term refers to discarded trash that reaches the ocean and is creating a marine ecosystem. Researchers have theorized that floating junk may provide platforms for pathogens and that the plastisphere may break down and leach dangerous chemicals into the ocean.