All-Female Crew Sails 3,000 Nautical Miles to Study Ocean Plastic
An all-female crew of 24 women are on a 3,000 nmi journey from Hawaii to Vancouver to study microplastics and bring attention to the problem of ocean plastic pollution. The eXXpedition crew is made up of scientists, students, artists, filmmakers, business women, psychologists, actors, ocean activists and sustainability professionals, and novice as well as experienced sailors.
The 10th such journey since 2014, eXXpedition North Pacific is a mission in collaboration with recycling innovators TOMRA that set sail from Honolulu, Hawaii on June 23. The scientific research mission is led by award-winning British skipper and ocean advocate Emily Penn. The expedition’s goal is to investigate solutions to the devastating impact of single-use plastic and toxics in the world’s oceans.
The expedition is made up of a diverse and international group of 24 women from Britain, U.S., Canada, Slovenia, Norway and Honduras. Split over two voyage legs, they will journey for a month over 3,000 nmi through the densest ocean plastic accumulation zone on the planet, the North Pacific Gyre—better known as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.
The aims of the North Pacific 2018 expedition are to raise awareness of the devastating impact of single-use plastic and toxics in the world’s oceans; champion and contribute to innovative scientific research to tackle the crisis; celebrate women in science, leadership and adventure; create a community of female change-makers and inspiring global ambassadors to tackle plastic pollution and its environmental and health impacts.
Science at Sea
The crew will conduct daily trawls for plastics and pollutants and collect data for a variety of global datasets and scientific research studies along the way. This data is used to support scientists in the U.K., Canada, Switzerland and the U.S. including the conservation organization Ocean Wise in Canada and Hawaii Pacific University. Studies range in focus from understanding the impact of plastic pollution on sea turtle environments to microplastics and the impact of toxics carried on plastic on human bodies.
The eXXpedition crew is sailing Sea Dragon, a 72-ft scientific exploration vessel owned by Pangaea Exploration from Oahu, Hawaii to Vancouver, British Columbia (June 25th – July 14th 2018) and then from Vancouver to Seattle (July 21st – July 28th 2018) where the journey will end. —eXXpedition
You can read biographies of the North Pacific 2018 expedition crew members here, read their daily blog, read more details about the scientific plan for the voyage, or watch the video below for details on the last eXXpedition mission in 2017.