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The Darker Side Of Midway


Midway Atoll is one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been, but there is also a darker side to the beauty, where one is faced with a stark reality of how humans have affected the Earth.

A friend just messaged me on Facebook asking what I thought about Chris Jordan’s MIDWAY Film, knowing I had just been there a couple of months ago for the Battle of Midway 70th anniversary.  Apparently, the legitimacy of the horrific images of dead birds filled with bits of plastic has been called into question by some, but from my personal experience, there is a real issue with the plastics and the birds. Here are two images from my Midway trip that I hadn’t posted before.

First, here is a 100% size crop of some ground on Midway’s Eastern Island. You can see there are bits of plastic everywhere. Also, to the center-right of the photo, there are long, thin, white sticks – those are actually bones of dead birds, which could be seen everywhere on the island. Yes, of course some of them die from other causes, but it is a grim realization that each little pile of plastic represents where a bird once died.

This is the only image I found in my files specifically of a dead bird, and while it isn’t as stuffed with plastic trash as some of the images in Chris Jordan’s preview video, you can still see it died with plastic inside of it:

I feel that the MIDWAY film will bring a lot of awareness to the issues the conservationists and biologists of Midway Atoll face in trying to protect the wildlife. One can only admire the tenacity of the people working together to protect Midway Atoll and its wildlife, especially when faced with the constant budget cuts and overall lack of funding to get what needs to be done, done.

Check out biologist Pete Leary’s blog for a look at the daily life of living on Midway and the efforts of the volunteers living there.

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