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The Environment

We ran a story from the LA Times on the dumping of DDT in the waters of Southern California. Turns out the problem is much worse than originally thought.

When the research vessel Sally Ride set sail for Santa Catalina Island to map an underwater graveyard of DDT waste barrels, its crew had high hopes of documenting for the first time just how many corroded containers littered the seafloor off the coast of Los Angeles.

But as the scientists on deck began interpreting sonar images gathered by two deep-sea robots, they were quickly overwhelmed. It was like trying to count stars in the Milky Way.

The dumpsite, it turned out, was much, much bigger than expected. After spending two weeks surveying a swath of seafloor larger than the city of San Francisco, the scientists could find no end to the dumping ground. They could’ve kept going in any direction, they said, and uncovered even more. Read on.