The eXXpedition team will set off on June 23 for a five-week trip across the North Pacific Gyre where they will focus on micro-plastics’ links to environmental and human health.
The team will be led by British skipper and ocean advocate Emily Penn with head of science Emily Duncan, a PhD researcher at the University of Exeter.
“We are aiming to assess the scale of plastics – from large pieces to micro-plastics – in the North Pacific,” Duncan said.
“We also want to raise awareness of the devastating effects of this pollution.”
A group of 24 women – split over two voyage legs – will travel over 5500 kilometres through the densest ocean plastic accumulation zone on the planet.
They will investigate pollution in the North Pacific Gyre – the massive vortex of plastic known as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.
Crew members will make daily trawls for plastics and pollutants and collect data for a variety of scientific studies.
Penn, co-founder of eXXpedition, said: “We hope our journey from the tropical islands of Hawai‘i 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.”
The researchers will be sailing Sea Dragon, a 22-metre scientific exploration vessel from Oahu, Hawai‘i to Vancouver, British Columbia and then from Vancouver to Seattle.