Holy polyethylene, Batman! A blog from folks actually navigating the Great Pacific Garbage Patch!
Here is the entry from September 9, 2007:
The Voyage has begun!!
This evening, just before sunset, ORV Alguita departed from Long Beach, CA for a three week research voyage ending in Hilo, Hawaii. This voyage will take us across over 3,000 miles of the Pacific Ocean to the "Eastern Garbage Patch". During the voyage the ships research team will be hard at work collecting samples to study the growing amount of plastic debris in the Pacific Gyre. The crew will keep us updated, answer our questions, and share their experiences with us as they go! This should be an exciting voyage for both us and the crew!
The link is to the September archive of the blog. Scroll down and read from the bottom up as usual.
Also, via the same blog, check out the International Pellet Watch. If you're near a beach, you can go and collect pellets and send them to Dr. Hideshige Takada in Japan, who is doing research on persistent organic pollutants. That sounds like the perfect project for a rainy November on the Oregon coast.
Updated: Go here for an appalling video on the effects of plastic on wildlife.