The eXXpedition North Pacific crew have started their experience with a beach clean alongside Sustainable Coastlines Hawaii. eXXpedition Crew Member Michelle Byle tells us more:
“The final few days leading up to the voyage have been full of activity, and emotion. Through a collaboration with Sustainable Coastlines Hawaii, the eXXpedition crew conducted a beach clean-up at the James Campbell National Wildlife Refuge on the north coast of Oahu on Saturday afternoon. This particular area of the island gets the greatest accumulation of plastic from the North Pacific Gyre, as it’s directly in-line with the current coming from the gyre.
The amount of microplastic found on the beach was astounding. We were supplied with screens to separate the plastic from the sand. However, even after the sand was removed, it was challenging for us to tell the difference between the small pieces of plastic and the pieces of broken down shell and coral. We asked ourselves, if it’s this challenging for us, as humans, to tell the difference between these things, how can animals possibly understand what is food, and what is plastic?
Shake, rattle and roll out the nurdles! eXXpedition North Pacific leg 1 crew were excited to be able to join forces with @sustainablecoastlineshawaii to clean some of the marine debris from a beach on the north-east coast. This coastline gets the full force of the Pacific waves, wind and marine debris.
Seeing the accumulation of microplastics first hand was overwhelming. Hearing from our guides from Sustainable Coastlines Hawaii that this stretch of beach we worked hard to clean would be just as full of plastic the next day, and the day after that, was heart-wrenching. But seeing this first-hand only served to reconfirm our commitment to this issue, and to getting the word out to the world at large, that it’s time for change. And that change starts with each and every one of us, and our decisions.”
The North Pacific Crew will be sending us daily updates from Sea Dragon, which will be posted here on the eXXpedition website. You will also be able to see updates from the crew and ground team throughout North Pacific on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
Curious about where Sea Dragon is RIGHT NOW? Click here to see exactly where she is!