Only time will tell the impact the pandemic will ultimately have on the state of our ocean but there is no time to wait. At eXXpedition our work at sea came to a halt because of COVID-19 when we left the boat in Tahiti at the end of Leg 8 on our Round the World mission, but our vision remains unchanged. We’ve made shifts to be able to continue making impact, albeit differently – at home on our doorsteps around the world, where the problem begins. And the opportunities are many.
Photo credit: Eleanor Church / eXXpedition
Our mantra that there’s no silver bullet to tackle ocean plastics couldn’t be truer. Our scientific work at sea has revealed the sources of plastic pollution are endless, and so the list of solutions is endless too. Our focus must be on both the importance of collective action and the diversity of the solutions needed. We need to tackle the problem from every angle and help individuals and businesses find their role, get access to tangible solutions and unite to become more effective agents for change. A network of inspiring leaders can engage their communities, cultivate solutions at a local and global level and take action that results in tangible outcomes towards less pollution in our ocean. And that’s exactly what our eXXpedition Ocean Ambassador Community does.
Be it at sea or onshore, the real power of eXXpedition is our multicultural, multinational and multidisciplinary global community and at the heart of our community are the women who have joined us on a voyage, benefitting from a rich and immersive experiential education on ocean plastics.
Photo credit: eXXpedition
While the diversity of the community is a great opportunity, even before COVID-19, with everyone spread around the world it can be a challenge to bring the community together to further inspire and empower their local efforts to tackle ocean plastics in their own communities over time.
Which is why we’re delighted to announce that we’ve received a grant from 11th Hour Racing to support our Ocean Ambassador Community through which we can drive a diverse mix of local actions on policy change, solution innovation and implementation (products and systems), citizen science and issues awareness raising on the ground around the world.
SHiFT Community Hub
For us, taking part in a voyage is just the start of the journey. We always say the real work begins back on land and in response to our growing community and opportunities to use technology alongside real-life events, our SHiFT Community Hub has been launched and will be supported as part of this grant for a year facilitating:
- Connections, collaborations and impactful opportunities (online and in person)
- Weekly live sessions led by experts
- Citizen science for COVID-19 plastic impact monitoring
- Tools to really drive change back on land and inspire solutions for the oceans.
Thank you to 11th Hour Racing for this incredible opportunity on behalf of everyone at eXXpedition and all our Ambassadors.
This grant builds on many years of working closely together with 11th Hour Racing and their generous support for our initiatives from the Ocean Changemaker Toolkit to eXXpedition Round the World.
About 11th Hour Racing
11th Hour Racing works to mobilize sailing, maritime and coastal communities with an innovative approach to inspire solutions for the ocean. The organization’s grant program, funded by The Schmidt Family Foundation, is committed to advancing innovative projects that improve the health of our oceans and address the dynamic environmental challenges facing the sailing and marine communities. Driven by a philosophy of “local solutions to global problems,” the organization connects international sailing teams with global events and utilizes these platforms to spotlight a broad portfolio of community grant projects. Learn more at 11thhourracing.org.