The ocean is quickly becoming a growing and gross mass of plastic. So two enviro-sailors are drawing attention to this mound of junk by floating away in all that crap that people are throwing into the sea, forcing us to see what we’re discarding.
The two marine research scientists have made a raft out of 15,000 plastic bottles and a Cessna 310 to raise awareness of how much plastic is floating in the ocean. The Algalita Marine Research Foundation has studied how much plastic marine debris there is in the North Pacific and found, distressingly, an exponential increase. So, the scientists are sailing the 2,000 miles from Los Angeles to Hawaii this week on their raft made of debris, hoping to draw attention to the riffraff thrown into the sea and forgotten.
“Once it goes past this point,” says enviro-sailor Joel Paschal at the Long Beach marina in California, “it goes to the ocean. It’s out of sight, out of mind. People don’t see it every day.”
The voyage is expected to take six weeks for the 1.5 ton raft, named “Junk” to sail the distance. On board, Joel and Marcus Eriksen, a former Gulf War veteran and marine scientist, have three months worth of food and water, including a five gallon bucket of Hershey’s kisses. They’re also equipped with three GPS units, two satellite phones and 2VHF radios.
Dr. Eriksen says to make the raft sink, every single one of the 15,000 plastic bottles lashed together would have to be punctured. The raft is also backed up by 12 pontoons so if one was to rupture, the other 11 can keep the vessel floating. The “Junk” raft is also using parts from discarded fishing nets, a solar generator and a bicycle generator to power its eco-journey along the Pacific. Follow the journey here at the sailor’s blog.
“It’s an environmental issue, it’s a human health issue and it needs to change now,” says Dr. Eriksen.
written by Plastic Bottles, November 16, 2009
|< Prev||Next >|