If I were standing alone at a podium in the largest arena before you today, the audience buzzing with all the force of a million eyes and ears, I would most certainly be struck silent in a seemingly indefinite pause. And if, my convictions were such that this silence was not born from the fear of a presentation of that magnitude, my silence would come from the intimidation of where to begin a topic so vast and of such severe importance. I would try to muster a magical set of coherent words for a beginning that would not sound cliché or condescending and would inspire you to join me. That is how I feel now when approaching you, even through text. But, put as simply as I can, please help me stop the plastic pollution in our oceans from continuing.
While plastics are unbelievably important to our way of life, how we dispose and which plastics are used needs to change. For instance, much has been made of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch in recent years, and, for just reason. This subtropical gyre (or large circular current in the ocean) has been collecting staggering amounts of trash, mostly buoyant plastics, and is swirling the mass in the vortex of the Pacific's currents. The sea birds, fish, and mammals are dying from ingesting what can be described as “a plastic soup”. Plastic never truly breaks down, but instead it will wear down into smaller pieces taking on the appearance of plankton - the tiny creature that is the backbone for all of life in the ocean. Not only is this 'plastic meal' filling the bellies of the sea life leaving no room for real plankton, like a magnet, these plastic bits collect and combine with the poisonous waste usually diluted by the sea. The concentration of the toxins then become a million times more potent on the plastic and is once again consumed by sea life, including some of the fish we eat. Sadly, the Great Pacific Garbage Patch is not the only one - other garbage patches exist and are currently being documented.
This November I will be joining a crew of 9 people on a sail boat taking part on one of the very first voyages to scientifically document and study the plastic pollution in the South Atlantic Ocean. This journey lead by Anna Cummins and Dr. Marcus Eriksen is just one of a series of research expeditions by the 5 Gyres organization (http://5gyres.org/) - Dr. Eriksen is the scientist who sailed a raft made of junk (www.junkraft.com) to raise awareness of the consequences of our supposed disposable plastic waste. My trip will commence in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, where I will board a boat that will take me on a 4 week journey through the Atlantic Ocean trawling and observing, and will conclude in Cape Town, South Africa. I will be on board with my camera juxtaposing nature's beauty with evidence of our shameful lapse. My documentary will be a intimate slice of a global movement to help educate and spread the word about this pressing problem.
Your help will enable me to produce this film as well as support this important research. I am committed to spreading this information the best way I know how, film. Continuing to use disposable plastics will create a future that cannot be ignored. Let us be conscious of our habits and make a change for ourselves. Please be apart of my film. Any contribution, whether financial or especially spreading the word, will be forever appreciated.
- (31 days)