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Algalita Marine Research Foundation to Document Pacific Gyre update.

Voyage set sail June 11th, 2009

Watch  Algalita’s Founder and Research Coordinator Charles Moore presenting at the TED talks. Don’t miss this important presentation.

Algalita Marine Research Foundation (AMRF) is a Long Beach, California-based non-profit marine research and education organization dedicated to the protection of the marine environment and its watersheds through research, education, and restoration. They have many videos in their Synthetic Seas Series.

They are currently embarking on their second plastics in the oceans research expedition, set over 4 months this summer. Their voyage set sail on June 11, 2009. You can find daily updates on their ships blog

Pacific Gyre Expedition 2009 Voyage is split in 3 legs

1. Moving Forward: 1st leg, June 10th to July 25th, 2009

2. Spreading the Word: 2nd leg, August, 2009

3. Resample of the NPSG: 3rd leg, September, 2009

The quantity of plastic pollution in the ocean is increasing rapidly, paralleling the rapid rise in global plastic production. Each time the ORV Alguita crew collects samples from the North Pacific Subtropical Gyre, we find that the abundance of plastic has increased since our previous visit. In previous research voyages we have found a very high abundance of plastic in the area of the gyre that has come to be known as “The Eastern Pacific Garbage Patch”, but we suspect that the contamination is much more widespread. This summer we will have the opportunity to test this hypothesis during the first voyage of our four month research expedition. During this voyage the ORV Alguita research crew will be at sea for over six weeks as they sail west from California past the Northern Hawaiian Islands as far as the International Date Line (180 degrees longitude) to sample areas of the Pacific Ocean previously un-sampled for plastic marine debris. We will be collecting samples of plastic debris, plankton and fish to analyze back in our laboratory to better understand not only the quantity of plastic debris pollution in remote areas of the ocean, but also the impacts the plastic is having as it is consumed by marine animals.

Plastic in fish

Plastic in fish

Peligro Pictures in conjunction with Billabong and ScubaDrew Video will be taking part in a two week giant loop approximately 1000 miles NE of Hawaii into the NPSG, which will include not only the Alguita, but the Billabong Seaplane and another long range vessel as well. The combination will provide a platform for celebrity guests to come out and witness the problem first hand, while providing their thoughts and commentary on the issue.

Read a detailed description of their North Pacific Sub-tropical Gyre Exploration here.

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