Global Oceanic Environment

Ayr Rotary Club was privilaged to hear two excellent speakers at their recent meeting, Dr Howard Dryden is an internationally acclaimed marine biologist, who is Chief Scientific Officer of GOES Foundation (Global Oceanic Environmental Survey) and Dr Stephanie Teranni Brown of Clean Water Wave

Dr Howard Dryden

Howard began with many startling facts about our oceans including “Life on earth depends upon the oceans”and “throw the earth a life line because we have less than 10 years to eliminate pollution, or life on earth may become impossible” Ocean pollution not climate change he continued, is the number one catastrophy facing humans. Marine plankton are the lungs for the entire planet, but humans have polluted the oceans and poisoned more than 50% of all life. Currently the plankton is dying at a rate of 1% year on year, in 25 years nearly 80% will be lost. We will also lose all the whales, birds, seals and food supply for 2 billion people said Howard. We will have runaway climate change, because the life support system for the plant will be gone. We can can recover the oceans if we eliminate micro plastic and toxic chemical pollution and this is the mission of the GOES Foundation. Plankton, from the latin meaning Ocean Drifter, include plants (phytoplankton) and animals (zooplankton). Copepods are zooplankton from the Subphylum Crustacea. There are 13,000 species of Copepod. Copepods are the world’s greatest carbon bank and yet few people have ever heard of marine Copepods. They are tiny marine insects of around 1mm in size. They are the most numerous animal on the planet, and collectively have more mass than all terrestrial animals combined and the best hope to save the planet from climate change.

There are 5 billion tonnes of Copepods in the world’s oceans, this is equivalent to 17 million 747 jumbo jets, and if laid these aircraft nose to tail, they would go around the earth 31 times. Every night they migrate from a depth of 400m to the surface to feed on algae. The mass migration moves more water than the moon and the tides, yet this has not been factored into the climate change model. The copepods defecate 30 times more carbon than humanity inputs from burning fossil fuels. Around 6 % reaches the abyss where it is locked out. This is our real carbon bank where 3 billion tonnes are deposited every year.

Yet we have killed more than 50% of the copepods from pollution over the last 70 years because they love to eat micro-plastic loaded with toxic chemicals. In 25 years time 80% will be gone. If we are going to have any chance of beating climate change, we need to stop the pollution and save the oceans. Howard’s audiencewere totally engrossed with facts.

Plankton provide more than up to 90% of our oxygen and remove most of our carbon dioxide. They represent 90% of all biological productivity on the whole planet. In effect 1% of all life on the planet is dying every year.

By 2045 years we will have lost 75-80% of all plankton, the oceans will become more acidic with a pH of 7.95. We will then lose all of the remaining whales, seals, birds and the fish, and along with them a food supply for 2 billion people. Life on earth will be impossible if we destroy the plankton, and this will happen by 2045 unless we stop the pollution


In fact, the science indicates that between 50% and 90% of the planet’s oxygen is generated by plankton. The microscopic plants and animals, drifting throughout the oceans, use photosynthesis to generate oxygen and remove carbon dioxide from our atmosphere. But oxygen levels are dropping 4 times quicker than carbon dioxide is increasing, this is not climate change, it can only be ecosystem destruction.

Over 30,000 tonnes of Oxybenzone (active component) in sunscreen gets dumped on corals each year when you go swimming. At 62 parts per trillion it is highly toxic to coral and plankton. 70,000 tonnes would wipe out all life in all the world’s oceans. Oxybenzone is used as a UV stabilizers in plastic, paint, adhesives and many other products. Global production is more than 3,000,000 tonnes every year. Using chemicals toxic to the environment, are also toxic to us.

Howard continued how it is important to reduce carbon emissions, but we must also eliminate toxic chemical pollution. The oceans are the lungs of the planet but since the Chemical Revolution in the 1950’s and the production of herbicides and pesticides, the oceans are suffocating under a toxic chemical cocktail. Marine toxic chemicals are in every type of household cleaner and personal care product. The world now manufactures thousands of different toxic chemicals that are killing the plankton and halting their ability to produce oxygen and remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

Stephanie launched into her part of the evening by explaining the amazing CAFE (Clean Aqua For Everyone) system pioneered by Clean Water Wave. This is an off-grid water treatment method that transforms polluted ground and surface water into clean water, safe for drinking or discharge by blending advanced technology with robust engineering. The CAFE can be used for treating industrial process water and irrigation, provide clean safe water anywhere from rural villages, communities, homes, to peri urban developments and businesses. The CAFE can also be used for recycling grey water and the tertiary treatment of municipal wastewater. It has a lifespan or more than 30 years is very low-cost operation and simple maintenance and can be installed in just 24 hours in most conditions. The system is chemical free and requires almost no energy, complicated electrical panels or moving parts. It backwashes automatically and does not use sand as this needs to be replaced. Utilises renewable energy so works off grid. Stephanie’s enthusiastic presentation for this life saving system concluded with how it even removes most viri, parasites, bacteria, heavy metals and toxic chemical.

Jimmy Begg gave a worthy vote of thanks