The Sea Education Association (SEA) sent out its latest research team earlier this month. While the “Great Pacific Garbage Patch” has received vastly more attention over the past decade, SEA has long studied the issue of plastic contamination in the North Atlantic. In 2010, they sailed from Bermuda out into open water collecting data on the nature and extend of plastics in our home ocean.
Earlier this month, a SEA research vessel headed west from San Diego bound for Honolulu. While underway, the scientists and students on board are collecting samples, data and (inevitably) a lot of plastic from the waters of the North Pacific. The expedition’s website is a great resource for students, scientists and Seanetters alike, and is a blend of sailor’s journal (“Those of us in A watch have just finished dawn cleanup…), photo gallery, data repository, and email exchange with students all over the United States following the expedition from land.
There’s a little something for everyone, so I encourage you to check it out. After all, it may be happening on the Pacific, but I don’t have to tell you readers that ours is truly a world ocean, and there’s no problem in the Pacific that isn’t also ours on the Atlantic. So this SEA expedition too, is one we should all share.