Friday, March 7, 2008

Message in a Bottle

Building on the tremendous momentum of our recent voyage across the North Pacific Gyre, The Algalita Marine Research Foundation is planning another epic sailing journey from Los Angeles back to Hawaii....

On a raft built of 20,000 plastic bottles.

The brainchild of Dr. Marcus Eriksen, Algalita's research and education director, the 3,000 mile journey will bring awareness to the issue of plastic marine debris.

Though undoubtedly an ambitious undertaking, the voyage is in good hands - Dr. Eriksen has a long history of experience building recycled bottle boats. In 2003, honoring a pledge he made to a fellow marine during the Persian Gulf War, Marcus built a raft out of 232 2 liter plastic bottles and sailed down the entire Mississippi River

This spawned the construction of numerous seaworthy bottle crafts:

Fluke, built with students from the Environmental Charter High School, sailed from Santa Barbara to San Diego raising ocean awareness along the way;

The Cola Kayak, also built with ECHS students rafted down the LA River;

The Plastic Poison, built in Juneau Alaska with partner organization Turning the Tide;

And the Potomac Attack - built with students participating in the Weather Channel's Forecast Earth summit, paddled across the Potomac River.

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