Thank you for inviting educators and students along with you on your voyage! I'm looking forward to sharing your story with my middle school science students in Livermore, California.
The current best selling book, The World Without Us, describes what would happen to Earth if people would disappear. One section talks about plastic and its impact on Earth. Descriptions about the Pacific gyre are given, and how there is six times as much plastic, by weight, on the surface of the ocean there than plankton. Incredible and frightening! The author also points out that most other substances have something that will digest it, plastic does not. Nothing has evolved yet that can eat up plastic. What we make will be around for a long, long time.
Have a safe and successful trip!