Thursday, March 13, 2008

Message in a Bottle Voyage

(Reposted from Ship to Shore)

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.

This will be the 2nd of a 3 part project called "Message in a Bottle", to raise awareness about our society's dirty disposable ways.....

Part 1: the Gyre 2008 voyage, Part 3: a bike/raft adventure from Port Townsend to Los Angeles, and:

Part 2: the upcoming plastic bottle raft adventures.

This next 3,00o mile leg is the brainchild of Dr. Marcus Eriksen, Algalita's research and education director - and as my friends/readers now know, my crazy fiance. Marcus will design and build the raft, with the help of AMRF staff, local business sponsors, school communities, and myself, doing all I can to help ensure his safety. Not that he doesn't have a fair amount of experience with these stunts already....

Marcus 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 - which we built with students participating in the Weather Channel's Forecast Earth summit, and paddled across the Potomac River.


Just as with these previous journeys, Message in a Bottle will need active participation from school communities and business sponsors. For information on how to get involved, or to inquire about sponsorship opportunities, contact Marcus: 323-295-1843, or Anna: 310-998-8616

With Algalita's experience researching plastic marine debris, and Marcuses experience building "junks", this mission promises to bring the plastic debris issue to new audiences, and continue engaging the public in solutions to this timely issue.

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