Trash and debris can find its way to the ocean, especially during the raining seasons. American and Mexican scientists want to discover how much, and doing so will involve dying the Oceans near California and Tijuana a fluorescent shade of pink… I think my dentist made me do this once.
Now, you may be asking yourself, wouldn’t adding some pink stuff to the waters just add to the pollution? Well, the dye is said to be non-toxic and EPA approved. The experiment, which is being called, the Cross Surfzone/Inner-shelf Dye Exchange project, or by the acronym, the CSIDE, started September 22, and will continue until October 17 of this year. The effects are already visible; scientists will track the dye, its movement and its dilution to analyze what pollutants they’re dealing with. A similar project had taken place in 2009.
The decision to involve Mexico with the current project is also related to the 2009 edition as the dye was reportedly washed offshore to Mexican coasts, which is not what the scientists expected to happen. According to Sarah Giddings, who serves as a co-leader on the project, “This work applies broadly to coastlines around the world and has local relevance to the water quality problems experienced in the San Diego Bight. We have developed a binational team of scientists because coastal water quality is not a national issue. Water currents, waves, and watersheds do not follow borders and thus neither do the things carried by the water.” Though as stated, the dye is unpredictable, and it is unsure where the dye will come into contact, but it is good that they are covering their bases.
The pink color stays bright for a mere six hours, but is said to be visible for up to 24 hours. Because of this, researchers have a short amount of time to analyze the results, and two more experiments involving releasing the dye are scheduled to happen for the project. Boats, water-skis, and even airplanes are being used to track the dye.
To sum it all up, Giddings released the statement, “We’re doing it for a variety of reasons, but I think one of the big reasons is to try to understand how and where and when our beaches are contaminated.” Let’s us take this project as a reminder that we need to take care of the Earth we have been given and do our part.