Foglio's Field Notes

Leif Utne's random rants, musings and meditations

Midway: Message from the Gyre

with 4 comments

midway_birdThese just-released photos by Chris Jordan show with horrifying beauty the impact that plastic pollution is having on millions of seabirds in one of the remotest corners of the planet, Midway Atoll, a tiny island northwest of Hawaii.

Here is Chris’ statement about the photos, from his website:

These photographs of albatross chicks were made just a few weeks ago on Midway Atoll, a tiny stretch of sand and coral near the middle of the North Pacific. The nesting baby birds are fed bellies-full of plastic by their parents, who soar out over the vast polluted ocean collecting what looks to them like food to bring back to their young. On this diet of human trash, every year tens of thousands of albatross chicks die on Midway from starvation, toxicity, and choking.

To document this phenomenon as faithfully as possible, not a single piece of plastic in any of these photographs has been moved, placed, manipulated, arranged, or altered in any way. These images depict the actual stomach contents of baby birds in one of the world’s most remote marine sanctuaries, more than 2000 miles from the nearest continent.

~cj, October 2009

Chris and four other media artists documented their amazing journey to Midway on the web at

4 Responses

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  1. The Pacific Gyre, and really all of the plastic in the oceans I guess, has consistently been one of the most depressing topics I’ve known for well over a year. It’s such a bummer.


    October 15, 2009 at 2:01 pm

  2. It’s a terrible image, in the true sense of the word.

    Overcoming our addiction to plastic has to be one of our top and urgent priorities.

    Al Shaw

    October 15, 2009 at 4:34 pm

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