The Mega Expedition is underway! 24 sailboats are conducting the largest research project on ocean plastics ever done with the help of some dedicated sailors and the American Sailing Association. Setting sail from the shores of Hawaii and some from SoCal, these volunteers will cover a huge area in a very orderly manner i n the name of ocean health and environmental science.
Back in May the organizers were looking for paid volunteers with ocean going vessels of any type who could become part of an historic grid of boats scouring the area of the Pacific Garbage Patch. The boats are doing research on the area and collecting garbage (mostly plastics, of course) and they will be collecting more plastic measurements in 3 weeks than have been collected in the past 40 years combined!
A compact surface trawl dragged behind each vessel will catch the smaller plastics. The device is known as Manta Trawl. It is the standard scientific equipment used around the world to quantify plastic pollution levels. Some people believe all commercial vessels should drag these type of trawls behind, thereby cleaning oceans all over the world and without extra effort or big money. We like that idea!
Keep track of the expedition and their findings on their website here. We commend them for this major undertaking and beg everyone reading this to work hard daily to ditch single use plastics – the water bottles and grocery bags, even dishwashing and laundry soaps – one and done plastics are killing our oceans and planet! Get yourself some pods for soap and reusable water bottles. Water bottle filling stations will hopefully take the place of our old favorite, phone booths – with easy access and visibility and plenty of them…. do your part!