Thursday, June 17, 2010

Back into the N. Atlantic Gyre

It's been almost a year since Jennifer O'Keefe and I hopped a ship of opportunity (BIOS Atlantic Explorer) out into the Atlantic 700 miles off the coast of Wilmington. What we found in our samples emulated that which is found in the N. Pacific Garbage Patch. Small fragments of photo-degraded plastics, bite size for the small marine life that live in the Sargassum. We also witnessed Michael Gonsior release a trapped six inch trigger fish from, of all things, a motor oil bottle. And then there was the 12 foot radar that could have done damage to our ship or sank a small vessel if we hadn't removed it from the open ocean. It took over an hour, but we were able to retrieve the 200+ lbs. marine debris. Large objects, like this one, are able to float due to airtight plastic housings.

We'll be back at it again starting July 3rd. Check in to see what we find! And thanks goes out to people like AAron and Danielle Richardet who have not only helped promote our work, but have financially supported us as well. Kudos Richardet family!


  1. Hi Bonnie,

    Will you be back in Wilmington in the fall? I'd love for you to share your experiences with my Freshman Students. I sent you a UNCW email. Thanks! LeAnne Smith

  2. Awww... Bonnie, thank you. With so many causes to support, it's often daunting choosing where to put our efforts...

    The Plastic Ocean is something that we ALL can help with...

    I used to be overwhelmed by it until I asked myself, "How do I make a difference??" Then it hit me... I realized that just by taking the time not to walk by a piece of litter, helping with beach/trail clean-ups, saying "no thanks" to plastic items, spreading the word and educating those I know or those that I happen to cross paths with, donating to help fund (y)our efforts...

    it's those things that remind me that I'm making a difference... it doesn't matter how big the difference is... as long as something is happening... we're moving in the right direction :)