A Hawaiian crew took a trip regardless of the Coronavirus and it’s something everyone can get behind, cleaning up the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.
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Great Pacific Garbage Patch
A swirling collection of plastic pollution has been growing for years in the Pacific ocean. It’s called the Great Pacific Garbage Patch and it’s slowly killing the ocean. Said to be the size of Texas, the swirling mass has anywhere from 1.8-5+ trillion pieces of plastic and is estimated to weigh more than 100,000 tons.
Each year, the “Gyre” and “Trash vortex” that spin between Hawai’i and California kill an estimated 100 MM marine animals. While not innocent, the US is not a top contributor to the waste, opting to pay China to recycle roughly 45% of plastic waste in 2018. The largest contributor to ocean waste that year was China.
The Ocean Voyages Institute
A non-profit filled with experts who are passionate about the ocean and leaving it better than they found it has been making big waves.
Ocean Voyages Institute (OVI) is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization founded in 1979 by a group of international sailors, educators, and conservationists with a mission of teaching maritime arts and sciences and preserving the world’s oceans. OVI is dedicated to providing sail training opportunities to youth on a worldwide basis as well as providing access to the ocean world and educational programs. In 2009, Project Kaisei was launched to focus on major ocean clean-up and to raise awareness regarding the global problem of marine debris/ocean trash.
While all the members on OVI’s team are skilled, I’m sure I’m not alone when I say that I would be happy to join them on that journey.
Largest Haul Ever
A determined team from the Ocean Voyages Institute set out to best last year’s record of two hauls removing 48 tons from the ocean. This year they have had the largest haul ever, 103 tons, or 206,000 pounds. That’s a staggering amount of plastic but in comparison to the amount swirling around, a literal drop in the ocean. Somehow, that’s both encouraging and infuriating.
The crew set out on a 48-day journey to complete the haul and brought it back to land where pieces will be recycled or upcycled.
While not exactly a vacation, we all have some free time on our hands, and this is an eco trip we can all get behind. Others are attacking the problem with different ideas. While some have argued that “95%” of efforts should be on not contributing further to the problem, I personally think that this is a good start and hope it encourages others.
What do you think? Is this a good start? Are the other ecological concerns associated with such a long journey (petrol used) outweighed by the effort and progress?