My passion for outdoor adventure and exploration has put me face-to-face with the devastating reality of our growing plastic footprint on even the most remote coastlines and pieces of wilderness: while surfing in Indonesia I literally had to contend with garbage in the waves I was riding. I knew plastic was an issue but I had never had to battle physically with it!
I decided to fight back!
I will be joining a team of 14 women to cross the Atlantic Ocean from the Ivory Coast in Western Africa to Brazil on November 2nd, 2015. The purpose of our crossing is to gather scientific data about the plastic concentration in that area and promote practices that can lead to healthier oceans. The end goal of this study is to make people aware of how plastic enters the food chain through fish, which understandably mistake our garbage for something to be consumed given that there is ten times more plastic in the Atlantic Ocean than there is actual food. Not only are these micro beads void of any actual nutrients the fish need to survive, they attract other toxins and are, therefore, highly poisonous to animal organisms like fish and human beings. We will conduct research in order to shed light on some of the ways in which we see plastics negatively impacting our environment and our health, and we will use our findings to seek change in the politics and policies governing the way we use plastics in our daily lives.
Everybody on the crew has a specific role from skipper or scientist to filmmaker, but we will all share tasks. My role will be mainly to produce a documentary film of the expedition, in addition to taking water samples for study and research. I’m honoured and excited to be part of this incredible team of women and, more importantly, to chronicle the journey and to create something that can be shared with the world. Education is critical, and my hope is to spread the vital word through film.
The kickstarter rewards I’ve come up with reflect my desire to give back to my support network, from cooking dehydrated meals for other exciting expeditions and adventures and offering geological consultation, to working in homes and gardens throughout my community and beyond. I’m already so humbled by the generous offers I’ve received for contributions of all shapes and sizes. Thank you, in advance, for your support!
My background is in geology, so I am able to look at this issue through a scientific lens and can quantifiably measure how our love affair with plastic products is affecting the oceans that cover over 70% of the planet we call home. My experience as a woman in several of the industries supporting this expedition – from photography and filmmaking to the very general field of scientific discovery - has also brought me closer to the project on a very personal level. To join a team of 14 women in support of a project, adventure and dream such as this is not only empowering for me, it sends a positive message to future female scientists, photographers and environmentalists that I think is much needed and incredibly valuable
The oceans represent more than 71% of the earth planet's surface, representing more than 97% of all our planet's water. They provide 99% of the Earth's living space- the largest space in our universe known to be inhabited by living organisms! Fish supply the greatest percentage of the world's protein consumed by humans
- Less than 10% of this living space has been explored by humans
- Eighty per cent of all pollution in seas and oceans comes from land-based activities.
- 80% of people live within 60 miles of the coast. The total length of the world's coastlines is about 315,000 miles, enough to circle the Equator 12 times.
-Plastic waste kills up to 1 million sea birds, 100,000 sea mammals and countless fish each year. Plastic remains in our ecosystem for years harming thousands of sea creatures everyday.
- Less than 1.5% of marine habitats are protected -- compared with 11.5 per cent of global land area.
-Our climate is regulated by the oceans.
Because the water flows from the top of our mountains and we all live downstream, I encourage you to take action by supporting the documentation of my scientific eXXpedition. Education is the key to change.
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