Today is World Oceans Day! In honor of our planet’s largest celebration of our oceans, I wanted to share some information about the 5 Gyres Institute and their expedition to eliminate plastic pollution in the world’s oceans.
My good friend Marcus Eriksen and his wife cofounders the 5 Gyres Institute. The 5 Gyres mission is to conduct research and communicate about the global impact of plastic pollution in the world’s oceans and employ strategies to eliminate the accumulation of plastic pollution in the 5 subtropical gyres. Not long ago CNN Presents did an amazing documentary on his work, titled Plastic Wars. This is definitely a must-watch documentary!
Currently, the 5 Gyres team is heading an expedition along the coast of Japan documenting the debris that has accumulated from the Japanese tsunami in 2011. On the first leg of the journey they sailed between the Marshal Islands and Japan, documenting the Western Garbage Patch in the North Pacific Gyre. As he prepares for leg 2 of his 7,000 mile voyage he reports, “the ocean is peppered with microplastics from California to Japan.” Throughout his journey, the crew is researching how this plastic pollution is affecting life both in the ocean and on land. His global research has proposed that marine animals have consumed harmful chemicals from these plastic products, and the ingested chemicals work their way up the food chain and enter our bodies when we eat seafood.
Clearly, the issue of plastic pollution is much bigger than Eriksen can tackle on his individual journey, but you can help by taking the Plastic Promise. I invite you to join me in the 5 Gyres Plastic Promise to help rid our marvelous oceans of such colossal waste. Will you make the promise?
Images are from the 5 Gyres Institute