July 8, 2008
Hold off the next time you grab a disposable bottle of water while picking up your coffee at Starbucks. Their Ethos water may economically benefit some peoples , but the bottle most definately HURTS. Turns out that most of the Styrofoam Jamba Juice cups and discarded flip-flops in the oceans are washed from land and not dumped by ocean going vessels as is the normal thinking according to the Algalita Marine Research Foundation. I became aware of this organization and it’s research while working on a new TV show recently that visited with a couple of their amazing scientists that are putting their lives at risk to make us aware of the trash we produce everyday. They are sailing into the ocean towards a texas sized patch of plastic soup that is referred to as the “Pacific trash gyre” or “plastic vortex”. The sailers and researchers heading this project, Marcus Eriksen and Joel Paschal, were featured on the green reality series called “Mario’s Greenhouse” with Actor and Director, Mario Van Peebles (Voom Networks). At the time of videotaping with them, they were still in the construction phase of their ocean going vessel affectionately named, Junk Raft, that departed from Los Angeles on June 2nd, 2008.
From the official website:
“Algalita staff set sail on “Junk,” a raft built on 15,000 plastic bottles. Their 2,100 mile journey will take them through the plastic-plagued Northern Pacific Gyre. Designed by Dr. Marcus Eriksen and Joel Paschal, the raft boasts an airplane fuselage, discarded fishing nets, a solar generator, and a wind turbine. This ambitious journey will bring further public attention to the plastic marine debris issue.”
Eriksen and Paschal manage to upload blog entries and video from the middle of Pacific somehow. For this their blog, junkraft.blogspot.com, deserves a visit by all of us. It’s amazing stuff and you can read about their trip AND the massive trash gyre that you may have heard about on the news that their parent organization, The Algalita Marine Research Foundation, is given credit for finding.