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BY KATIE - MYGREENPOD, 16 Mar '18
All-female crew to sail North Pacific Gyre on a pioneering journey to investigate the crisis of ocean plastics
This summer, a diverse and international group of 24 women, led by British skipper and ocean advocate Emily Pennwill, will journey over 3,000 nautical miles through the densest ocean plastic accumulation zone on the planet, the North Pacific Gyre – better known as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.
The pioneering all-female sailing expedition and scientific research mission will start in Hawaii and end in Seattle. The aim is to raise awareness of the devastating impact of single-use plastics and toxics in the world’s oceans, while also celebrating women in science, leadership and adventure.
‘eXXpedition North Pacific will be pioneering sailing and research, and also helping build the case for urgent, decisive action on the throwaway plastic apocalypse that our oceans are facing. Such front-line support for our #CleanSeas campaign will help get the message further out!’
Head of UN Environment
Spotlight on microplastics
Public interest in ocean plastic pollution is at an all-time high; the goal of eXXpedition North Pacific 2018 is to put a spotlight on the lesser understood issue of microplastics and their impact on environmental and human health.
During the month-long voyage, the crew will make daily trawls for plastics and pollutants, and collect data for a variety of global datasets and scientific research studies.
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.
While championing and contributing to innovative scientific research to tackle the crisis, the expedition will also create a community of female change-makers and inspire global ambassadors to tackle the environmental and health impacts of plastic pollution.
‘eXXpedition is a radical mix of adventure, science, advocacy and action to help understand the nature of a complex problem; the contamination of our bodies and our seas. Each voyage is designed to be a platform for ambassadors to take forward projects tackling plastics and toxics, and raise the profile of the issues to create change at a personal and organisational level, and influence national and international policy makers. We hope our journey from the tropical islands of Hawaii to the wild coastlines of British Columbia and the Pacific Northwest will contribute to important scientific studies while inspiring action to protect these great places of outstanding natural beauty and importance.’
eXXpedition co-founder and ocean advocate
eXXpedition, the British Community Interest Company behind North Pacific 2018, specialises in all-women sailing expeditions. This is its 10th eXXpedition voyage and the first in the North Pacific Gyre. It has the endorsement and support of the UN Environment Clean Seas initiative and Ocean Wise.
In the four years since the first voyage across the Atlantic, 86 amazing women have sailed on missions all over the world creating their own narratives about plastics and toxics, using their specific skills and their eXXpedition experience.
These eXXpedition Ambassadors have gone on to give inspirational talks, organise plastic-free community projects, implement plastic policies within their organisations, campaign for better legislation, release impactful films and create inspiring ocean plastic artworks.
The eXXpedition crew will be sailing Sea Dragon, a 72ft scientific exploration vessel (owned by Pangaea Exploration) from Oahu, Hawaii to Vancouver, British Columbia (23 June – 15 July 2018) and then from Vancouver to Seattle (21 – 28 July 2018) where the journey will end. A roster of events in each place will be announced closer to the departure.
All costs are covered by crew contributions and mission sponsor, which to date include The Copernicus Marine Service, Mercator Ocean, Princess Yachts, Hawk Yachts, Daedalus Yachts, Y.CO, Iridium and Finisterre.