The crew will sail between in a region between San Diego and Honolulu where the “Great Pacific Garbage Patch” floats. It is a region where high concentrations of marine debris accumulate and the researchers expect to find debris from the March 2011 tsunami in Japan.
In addition to measuring the debris, the researchers will also study the organisms living on the plastic, from microorganisms to barnacles and crabs.
“This expedition will be one of the first to unravel the impact that plastic pollution is having on our ocean’s ecosystem. SEA has over 25 years of experience sampling marine debris and, using this knowledge, we will further investigate the health of our marine ecosystem,” said Emelia DeForce, the expedition’s chief scientist.
“Those onboard will have a productive and eye-opening experience with long lasting effects. We will extend this experience to the public at large through our outreach program that will take place during and after the expedition, with the goal to raise awareness of the impact that this long-lived pollutant is having in our oceans.”
Take a look at this short video about the expedition:
To learn more:
- Check for updates from National Geographic
- Check out the expedition’s website
- Explore SEA’s ships and crew
- Read about the Great Pacific Garbage Patch
- Read about the fish that live near the patch and have plastic in their stomachs
Copyright © 2012 by Marine Science Today, a publication of Marine Science Today LLC.