A marine scientist named David Valentine from a California university uncovered an environmental hazard of over 70 years. Shockingly, very few people have heard about this menace located 10 miles off the coast of Los Angeles.
Curiosity guided Mr. David 3,000 feet below the ocean’s surface, where he found an environmental hazard that can cause catastrophic ecological issues. After a few hours of research, an autonomous robot unearthed countless barrels of toxic waste laced with DDT that had littered the ocean floor in between Long Beach and Catalina Island. This hazard has been hidden there since the 1940s.
Mr. David’s camera spotted dozens of decaying barrels on this barren sea-like floor. This scientist believes that the number of these barrels is likely immense. Although there is no exact figure for these barrels, historical accounts estimate it may be as many as half a million.
Thanks to Mr. David’s research, after 70 plus years of inaction, a vast research effort has been initiated to reveal the contamination extent.
The DDT Dumping Issue is Not New
DDT chemical was invented in 1939 and was used as a pesticide during the Second World War to protect the troops from insect-borne diseases like malaria. In 1960, DDT was termed to be toxic. Over time, DDT accumulates in the environment and inside the animal and human tissues due to eating food laced with DDT.
This offshore dumpsite is just the tip of the iceberg on DDT dumping along California’s coast. The dumping has had a substantial negative impact on the sea lions’ population. In a recent discovery, an alarming and unprecedented rate of cancer in the California sea lions’ population has been reported by scientists. One in every four adult sea lions is plagued with the disease.
Scientists Efforts for Action Taking
After this discovery, Valentine said that “he beat drum” for years, speaking to various government agencies trying to get some interest. However, after the LA Times story came out, the interest developed from public outcry.
On the day CBS News went to visit Valentine in Southern California, Scripps Institution of Oceanography began a two-week mission to survey 50,000 feet of the deep ocean floor. A crew of 31 scientists and crew members employed Sally Ride, an extensive research vessel, and two high-tech autonomous robots to map the ocean bottom. Erick Terrel, the team leader, noted that the number of barrels seemed overwhelming, although the final number had still not been tallied.
The two-week mission is complete, and the team expects to have the final report published at the end of April.