The Mega Expedition
The ASA joins with The Ocean Cleanup to fight against oceanic plastic pollution.
The Plastic Pollution Problem
About 8 million tons of plastic enters the ocean each year. At least one million seabirds, and one-hundred thousand marine mammals die each year as a result of this plastic pollution.
The Ocean Cleanup
The Ocean Cleanup develops technologies to extract, prevent, and intercept plastic pollution. The Ocean Cleanup’s goal is to fuel the world’s fight against oceanic plastic pollution, by initiating the largest cleanup in history.
On Board With ASA
ASA is partnering with the Ocean Cleanup to document this historic research effort. OC staff member / biologist Stella Diamant will be sending ASA photos and information live from the Pacific Garbage Patch – stay tuned for updates as they happen!
The Mega Expedition
In August 2015 more than 35 vessels will collect plastic measurements over a 3,500,000 km² area between Hawaii and California creating the first high-resolution map of plastic pollution in the Pacific Ocean.
VIDEO – ASA was in San Francisco for the conclusion of the Mega Expedition…
As the boats returned to San Francisco Boyan Slat talked about their initial findings. After 30 boats spent the month of August traversing the Great Pacific Garbage patch they collected more samples than have been collected in the last 40 years. Their research casts a new light on the problem of plastic pollution and it’s severity. In the next 10 years The Ocean Cleanup will be working to try and remove up to half of the worlds harmful plastic pollution in the oceans. Watch The Video
VIDEO – ASAs Exclusive Report from the Pacific Garbage Patch
“Just beneath the surface you find all these things you wouldn’t see otherwise…” ASA interviews Stella Diamant, The Mega Expedition Coordinator, via satellite phone from the middle of the Pacific Garbage Patch! Her first hand account of the plastic pollution in the oceans is quite revealing. Boyan Slat, the founder of The Ocean Cleanup, is quite content with results – there is a lot of analysis ahead but so far the “largest research effort of it’s kind” is a success. Watch The Video
QUIZ – How much do you know about plastic pollution?
As sailors, we believe the oceans need help and protection. Our hope is all sailors will do what they can, individually and collectively, to reduce plastic consumption and thereby alleviate what the oceans and the living beings that live there are being asked to bear. Remember – today it’s the fish, turtles and seabirds – tomorrow it’s us. Okay sermon over – take the quiz – it’s actually fun!
BIO – Stella Diamant, Mega Expedition Coordinator
Stella Diamant works for The Ocean Cleanup. She is currently in the middle of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch sailing on a Gunboat 66 called Extreme H2O collecting plastic pollution samples as part of the expedition that she helped put together.
VIDEO – ASA Coverage of the Departure of the Mega Expedition
From the shores of Hawaii, and the shores of the mainland the Mega Expedition has begun… 24 sailboats are out in the middle of the Pacific collecting more plastic measurements in 3 weeks than have been collected in the past 40 years combined. Any day now we expect to hear from Stella Diamant, the Mega Expedition Coordinator, onboard Extreme H2O as they traverse the notorious Pacific Garbage Patch where so much of these plastics congregate. ASA will be conducting satellite interviews with The Ocean Cleanup team detailing what they are seeing and how their historic missing is progressing. Stay tuned for more updates!
UPDATE – One net, one hour. Welcome to the Great Pacific Garbage Patch
This picture shows how much trash was collected in a single net, during a one hour trawl. This is simply more proof that plastic pollution is a real problem in the middle of the Pacific. See how “new” the plastic looks – that just goes to show this problem isn’t going to fix itself – we all have to do more to help clean up our oceans! Get Involved Now!
UPDATE – Mothership, “Ocean Starr”, reaches Pacific Garbage Patch
The Ocean Cleanups mothership has arrived at the center of the Garbage Patch in the middle of the Pacific. The 171 ft Ocean Starr has been fitted with two very large nets, designed to capture high volumes of all sizes of plastic debris. It will also be flying a high-altitude balloon that will be able to photograph a larger area, helping The Ocean Cleanup to quantify the rarest but heaviest pieces of debris, such as ghost nets. Track The Mega Expedition LIVE!
VIDEO – KITV Coverage of boats leaving Hawaii on The Mega Expedition
Today some of the boats participating in The Mega Expedition left Hawaii bound for the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. Many of the boats who raced in the Transpac have already sailed through the garbage patch on their way to Hawaii. Many were shocked at how much garbage there was and some reported pieces big enough to damage their boats. Watch The Video
UPDATE – “Transformer” undergoing repairs before returning to California
An open ocean isn’t always kind, in fact, it rarely is. Although this year’s Transpac didn’t involve heavy winds, it was full of somewhat odd weather that had a tendency to put a beating on many of the competing boats – Transformer being one. The 52-foot Beneteau was as prepared as any boat in the race but suffered impairment to its electrical system, leaving the crew with nearly no electrical capabilities for at least half the race. Light winds and contrasting squalls made the crossing a trying affair. As a result Transformer plans to remain in Hawaii indefinitely until it is repaired before taking on the 2,000-mile voyage back to Los Angeles. This means that Transformer will most likely no longer participate.
UPDATE – “Manta” Trawlers arrive in Hawaii as boats prepare for Mega Expedition
The Ocean Cleanup are on the ground in Hawaii helping prepare boats for The Mega Expedition. There are some boats that have just completed Transpac that will be headed back to California as well as some local Hawaii boats that are going to help collect pollution measurements across the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. Each boat will be towing one of these “Manta” trawlers that is designed to collect samples so the magnitude of the plastic pollution can be evaluated which will help Boyan and his team decide how to start the clean up process. Learn More About The Mega Expedition
NEWS – Transpac Racers Encounter Dangerous Debris Field
Wild Oats XI, a 100ft maxi yacht, is a joint American/Australian Transpac entry involving Roy P. Disney – a descendent of the legendary Walt Disney – and the yacht’s Australian owner, Bob Oatley AO. They sent this report from the middle of the Pacific yesterday – “This race has been the trickiest ever,” said Disney, a veteran of 20 Transpacs. “The winds have been unbelievably fickle, but making the situation even more demanding now is this massive field of debris we’ve sailed into. We are seeing at least three bits on junk every minute – timber, fishing nets, plastic, poles that have broken away from commercial fishing nets; you name it, and it’s probably here. It’s so bad that we have a man stationed permanently on the foredeck to alert the helmsman of anything we might hit. That’s our problem right now, but it will be even tougher when it’s dark.” Read The Full Report
VIDEO – ASA and The Ocean Cleanup Embark on Mega Expedition
Find out how ASA is helping The Ocean Cleanup by participating in The Mega Expedition. Meet ASA Instructor Bob Solliday and his team onboard the Beneteau 523, “Transformer”, as they prepare to embark on this journey to the Pacific Garbage Patch off the islands of Hawaii. Stay tuned for more videos as we receive updates via satellite from Bob and his team. Watch The Video
Press Release – ASA Joins Fight Against Plastic Pollution
American Sailing Association joins The Ocean Cleanup’s Mega Expedition to fight against oceanic plastic pollution. This coming August the American Sailing Association will be providing exclusive documentary-style content from the infamous Pacific Garbage Patch off the islands of Hawaii. ASA certified instructor Bob Solliday will be in regular satellite communication with the ASA shore team as he participates in the Mega Expedition, a research component of The Ocean Cleanup project. As part of the fleet of boats that will be surveying the ocean, Solliday and his crew will be collecting samples that will aid in the research about the amount of harmful plastics that are in our oceans. Read Full Press Release
Interview – ASAs exclusive Boyan Slat interview
This Kid Says He Can Rid the Ocean of Plastic Pollution. ASA caught up for an interview with Dutchman Boyan Slat, Founder of The Ocean Cleanup. Slat is an amazing young guy who, at 19, announced he had a solid plan to clean the world’s oceans of harmful plastic pollution faster and more efficiently than any have proposed before. In 2012, the skinny longhaired teenager spoke on a TED Talk stage of a plan that would harness the existing tendencies of the ocean and, in essence, coral the garbage for a manageable and cost-effective removal. Read The Interview