Professional Surfer Mary Osborne is now a member of the United Nations Environmental Program after our voyage across the S. Atlantic where she witnessed firsthand plastics accumulating thousands of miles away from land. She will also be getting her blood tested for chemicals associated with plastics.
James Pribram, is a professional surfer and host of "Eco Warrior." He's been instrumental in ocean projects in various parts of the world. From helping to prevent developers from altering shore waters, legalizing surfing in Lake Michigan, to bringing awareness to water quality issues and protecting precious reefs. James is now committed to educating the masses on yet another issue, plastic pollution.
StivWilson, Pangaea Explorations and 5 Gyres Communications Director, was formally the editor-in-chief of Wend Magazine. He quit his day job after voyaging across the N. Atlantic earlier this year and seeing the mass of plastic 1000s of miles away from land. Stiv also played a major role in getting plastic bags banned in Portland, Oregon.
Founder of the Environmental Clean-up Coalition, Rich Sundance Owen, has been working with companies creating technology for cleaning up plastic in the marine environment. His resolve - to clean up the North Pacific Garbage Patch. What we all learned from this voyage was that beach sweeps ARE gyre clean-ups. Cleaning waterways that lead to the ocean are far more productive than traveling 1000s of miles out into the middle of the sea to commence clean-up. Rich has been educating the masses on the problems with plastic pollution through his coalition.
Mary Maxwell seen here repairing the mainsail. We were on nearly every watch together. Through our many hours on watch, I learned about her ideas for bringing awareness to this issue. She works in the hotel industry and this voyage has helped her see the magnitude of this problem firsthand. I have a feeling she is going to be a powerhouse in greening up high-end hotels. A much needed and very difficult proposition. She also has a huge vision - can anyone say Alcatrash? Go for it Mary.
Chelsea Rochman. She's a PhD student through a combined program at both University of California, Davis and San Diego State University studying toxicity of Marine Plastic Debris. Here she is using a water sampling device looking for contaminates that we might also find on our plastic samples. Many of the chemicals found in our water at minuscule levels can reach toxic doses when adsorbed onto plastic. Chelsea also collected fish to sample their tissue as well as necropsy their digestive track looking for plastic ingestion. This area of research is relatively new and she is a promising scientist in this field questioning, "If fish are eating our plastic and we are eating the fish, what is the chemical burden from the human consumption of fish?"
A special thank you to Marcus Eriksen and Anna Cummings for spear heading the S. Atlantic voyage. To Clive Cosby and Dale Selvam for a safe journey over 4100 nms from Brazil to Cape Town Africa. And to filmmakers Michael Lutman and Jody Lemmon for capturing it all raw.
|Marcus Eriksen and Anna Cummings|