Mary Crowley is rounding up willing volunteers and their boats to tackle the problem of the presumed Texas-sized garbage patch in the pacific. She has a plan, and wild amounts of fortitude and vision to tackle this growing island of plastic and trash…and she even wants to recycle the plastic once it’s brought onshore.
We’ve all seen and participated in trash clean-ups–in parks, along roadsides, at the beach. It has now fallen to us to figure out how to do this in the open ocean…it’s our garbage, and our problem. Mary Crowley is a hero and a visionary and if I had a boat, I’d probably sign up to join her. For my part, I’ll continue to pick trash up and bring it back to shore when I’m out on my board.
“The big challenge for us is to get the word out that we do have the technology to figure out how to solve” this problem, she says.
Some 60 to 80 percent of the plastic in oceans is not released by ships but originates onshore before being swept out to sea via coastal waterways.
Kaisei means “Ocean Planet” which of course, we of the Blue Planet are.
Another site, Container Recycling Institute, tracks the number o, linked to from the Kaisei site tracks how many plastic bottles are going straight into landfills. If this doesn’t alarm you, I want some of what you’re ingesting.
One last thing, the Kaisei project set out two ships last year. Each ship sampled waters in the Pacific within 3,500 miles of each other and the samples are being analyzed now, but what was immediately evident to the researchers was the growing layer of small bits of plastic on the surface of the ocean–everywhere. Thousands of miles offshore, for as far as you could see. Imagine.
And now imagine yourself as part of the ocean ecosystem, a whale, dolphin, tuna, starfish, coral bed, kestrel, herring…that relies on a chain of being that is now consuming tiny bits of plastic as though it were food, tiny minute bits of plastic. Plastic working its way right up into the Great Chain of Being.