Scientists discover massive DDT dumping site off California coast
By Ethan Huff // May 04, 2021

The Scripps Institution of Oceanography has published a report indicating that a massive DDT (dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane) dumping site was recently discovered at the bottom of the ocean floor off the coast of Los Angeles.


Underwater drones equipped with sonar technology mapped out 36,000 acres of seafloor between Los Angeles and Santa Catalina Island, which led them to the discovery that at least 27,000 barrels of DDT are nested there.

Scientists also found an excess of 100,000 debris objects related to the illegal dumping, which probably occurred at some point back during the time of World War II when DDT was still legally in use.

This particular area of ocean floor has previously been identified as a dumping site for the industrial complex of Southern California. However, it was not known until now that large quantities of DDT are hiding there well beneath the surface.

The site is located about 12 miles offshore of Los Angeles and about eight miles from Catalina Island. The depth of the barrels is about 3,000 feet below the surface.

The autonomous underwater vehicle that was used to detect the barrels identified distinct track-line patterns that suggest dumping occurred repeatedly, and probably from an underwater platform such as a moving ship or barge.

The ocean basin offshore from California has long been a chemical dumping ground

DDT, for those who are unfamiliar with it, is a "miracle" pesticide that the chemical industrial complex of old touted as the "cure" for malaria. It was banned in 1972 after it was found to cause cancer in humans, as well as severe damage to ecosystems.

Even after all these years, the dumped barrels are still releasing DDT, it was determined. Experts say the first concentrated accumulations of DDT were discovered in the area about a decade ago, including inside the bodies of marine mammals like dolphins and sea lions.

"Unfortunately, the basin offshore Los Angeles had been a dumping ground for industrial waste for several decades, beginning in the 1930s," says Eric Terrill, chief scientist of the expedition and director of the Marine Physical Laboratory at Scripps.

"We found an extensive debris field in the wide-area survey. Now that we've mapped this area at very high resolution, we are hopeful the data will inform the development of strategies to address potential impacts from the dumping."

What we know is that there are at least 60 barrels of long-discarded DDT resting in the scanned area. The concentrations are so high that even the marine mammals living in the area are developing cancer.

Since dumping of toxic chemicals has been going on for decades in this area without consequence, it will likely continue unless something is done to curb it. Perhaps this latest discovery will prompt some do-gooders to take action, or at least call for it from the authorities.

"Between the dumping grounds, the pollution from WWII, the atomic bomb testing, the great garbage patch, and the Fukushima Daichi leaking radioactive water every day, the Pacific is poisoned," wrote one commenter at Zero Hedge about the plight of the Pacific Ocean.

"Don't be so quick to assume it was dumped by industry," wrote another. "The DoD (Department of Defense) also managed a lot of DDT and the location 12 miles off shore and the brazen dumping from a moving platform scream military disposal operation."

Others expressed confusion over the worries about DDT when there are hundreds, if not thousands, of much worse chemicals out there today that are being sprayed all over our food and into our soils.

More related news about the deadly impact of pesticides like DDT can be found at

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