“Floating Islands” of Garbage in Our Oceans: the Junk Raft Project

Artists for A Pristine PlanetThe Junk Raft project (http://junkraft.com) was funded by the Algalita Marine Research Foundation.

Its aim was to “creatively raise awareness about plastic debris and pollution in the ocean,” specifically targeting the Great Pacific Garbage Patch…

“sailing to Hawaii on 15,000 plastic bottles and a Cessna 310, to raise awareness about plastic fouling our oceans.

“They sailed 2600 miles in a 30 foot-long raft made from an old Cessna 310 aircraft fuselage and 6 pontoons filled with 15 000 plastic bottles. I presented our last gyre sample from our marine debris trawl. In a glass peanut butter jar were hundreds of fragments of plastic and zooplankton floating around. “This is what you get when you skim the ocean surface. 2/3rds of the earth is ocean, and is now a plastic soup.”

“I also showed the shriveled stomach from the rainbow runner I caught a couple weeks ago, with 14 fragments of plastic in it’s stomach. This is why we crossed this ocean. Then we talked about what we do about it.(Image and text in blue: from http://junkraft.com)

Dr. Marcus Eriksen, also from the Algalita Foundation, crewed the Junk Raft, along with Film maker Joel Paschal. Many volunteers lent a hand in the construction of the Junk Raft by collecting bottles and cleaning them. These volunteers included Bell Elementary, Santa Monica High School and the Westbridge School for Girls.

The junk raft sailed from Long Beach California, where to Foundation is situation, to Honolulu, Hawaii. Just like the Kaisei Mission, the Algalitha Marine Research Foundation will fund more expeditions in the future, which will focus on the removal of ocean garbage.

So, yes! There are indeed foundations and organizations out there who do their part to clean up the garbage patch. What can YOU do to help?

Stay tuned – more this week onother projects….

http://dipity.com (image titled Dipity)
http://planetgreen.discovery.com (image titled Planet green)

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