Stopping Marine Debris – The Ocean Should Not Be Our Garbage Dump

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ocean debris along the coast
We MUST stop this!
Project Kaisei

Project Kaisei is an environmental organization established to research and develop innovative solutions to the accumulation of marine debris in convergence zones of the world’s oceans. The two ships of this expedition to the North Pacific Gyre will depart on August 2, and August 4, 2009. Project Kaisei is focused on finding solutions both in terms of the cleanup and remediation of marine debris, and the education and awareness needed to stop the flow of refuse into our oceans.

The 174 foot research vessel New Horizon, a ship owned by Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego, one of the top oceanographic institutions in world, will depart from San Diego on August 2, 2009. On board will be members from the Project Kaisei team which is helping to support the Scripps Environmental Accumulation of Plastic Expedition (SEAPLEX). The 150 foot Kaisei, the organization’s flagship vessel, will depart from San Francisco on August 4, 2009 with a team of leading marine scientists and experts in marine debris capture. The New Horizon, in an alliance with Project Kaisei, will conduct a 21 day expedition to the gyre for scientific research, with the Kaisei traveling for 30 days into the gyre for concurrent studies on netting and capture testing, as well as mapping/tracking observations.

Ocean currents carry marine debris from the shores of North America and Asia to the North Pacific Gyre, an area of the Pacific north east of Hawaii. Project Kaisei will systematically study the types and quantities of marine debris, the biological impacts that these materials have on the ocean environment and marine life, and investigate innovative technologies that might offer solutions for economically cleaning up marine debris in the world’s oceans by converting waste plastics into fuel and products, from textiles to containers.

“The sooner we see the extent of the problem, the better we can work out feasible ways to clean up the mess. But the real solution lays in assuming responsibility for the outcomes of our actions, to start using environmentally-sustainable products and to start disposing of our waste responsibly” said Doug Woodring, Co-Founder and Project Director of Project Kaisei. Project Kaisei is collaborating with Scripps Institution in San Diego, a leading oceanographic institute, under the umbrella of the “Ocean Recovery Alliance”, a format that Project Kaisei will seek to follow with other third-party institutions and organizations in the future. Project Kaisei is also recognized as a “Climate Hero” by the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) in the lead up to the Copenhagen talks. Project Kaisei is funded by individual donors and sponsors internationally who are committed to preventing, reducing and cleaning up ocean debris in creative new ways.

Project Kaisei is a team of innovators, scientists, environmentalists, ocean lovers, sailors, and sports enthusiasts who have come together with a common purpose: to advance the knowledge of and solutions for marine debris. The first expedition to the North Pacific Gyre–with its two vessels–will analyze its structure, assess its impacts on the ocean ecology, determine the feasibility of capturing the debris, explore possible retrieval and processing / recycling and technologies.

Project Kaisei is organized under the Ocean Voyages Institute, which is a non-profit organization devoted to the preservation of the Maritime Arts and Arts and Sciences and the Ocean Environment. Ocean Voyages Institute is a “501 C 3” California Registered non-profit organization.

Scripps Institution of Oceanography, at the University of California San Diego, is one of the oldest, largest and most respected centers for global science research and education in the world. The National Research Council has ranked Scripps first in faculty quality among oceanography programs nationwide. Now in its second century of discovery, the scientific scope of the institution has grown to include biological, physical, chemical, geological, geophysical and atmospheric studies of the earth as a system. Hundreds of research programs covering a wide range of scientific areas are under way today in 65 countries. The institution has a staff of about 1,300 and annual expenditures of approximately $155 million from federal, state and private sources. Scripps operates one of the largest U.S. academic fleets with four oceanographic research ships and one research platform for worldwide exploration.

For more information, to contribute, collaborate, and to pre-register to follow the expedition in real-time with the ‘Project Kaisei Interactive Voyage Tracker’ please visit: http://www.projectkaisei.org/


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