On Wed. 3 October, the SSV Robert C. Seamans set sail from San Diego on Sea Education Association’s (SEA) second research expedition dedicated to the study of plastic marine debris, Plastics at SEA: North Pacific Expedition 2012. The crew of the expedition includes 31 SEA alumni from classes W-10 to S-233. The 2500-nautical mile voyage to Honolulu will sail west into the popularly dubbed, ‘Great Pacific Garbage Patch’, an area of documented high concentrations of floating plastic where, according to models and recent observations, debris from the 2011 Japanese tsunami will also be drifting. Scientific objectives include documenting plastic debris concentrations and investigating the effects of plastic in the ocean ecosystem.
We invite you to follow the expedition on our website http://www.sea.edu/plastics/, which will be updated daily with multimedia content including posts from award-winning author and journalist Jonathan Waterman. Jon will also be writing weekly posts for National Geographic that will appear at http://newswatch.nationalgeographic.com/ as part of the Society’s “Ocean Views” news.
This year we have introduced a K-12 outreach page to our expedition website, where students in ten partner schools from around the country will submit questions that the expedition team will answer from sea. A major goal of this expedition is outreach and education to schoolchildren, educators, and the public.
For more information, please see the press release below and at: http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2012-10/sea-sea100212.php.