There is a Maui contingent joining Eat Less Plastic, a documented voyage that is following a team of sailors, actors, businessmen, and every day citizens on an epic voyage across the southern Pacific Ocean as they encounter the most deadly threat to the sea and its marine life: plastic. Hawaiian Paddle Sports Founder Timothy Lara is joining the voyage, officially described as a citizen science project to collect vital plastic debris data from previously unstudied waters.
During the five-month voyage, a 54-foot boat is sailing from Southern California to New Zealand, with planned stops in the Pacific Islands along the way. Lara will join the research team on the sail from Tahiti to the Cook Islands from July 29 to August 20. He also is matching up to $2,500 in donations by July 29; those donations will support the basic costs of the voyage, including fuel, food, filming, scientific research equipment, and safety equipment.
“I am stoked to join the Eat Less Plastic voyage to help collect this important data,” Lara said. “I hope the community will join us in this important mission—whether it be through a donation, joining the crew, or reducing their single-use plastic consumption.”
Nearly 8 million tons of plastic pollution is dumped into our oceans every year, threatening to eventually cover beaches with more micro plastics than sand. Data collection from the Eat Less Plastic crew will follow the 5 Gyres Trawl Share Program and give researchers an accurate sample of the types of plastic pollution in our world’s oceans. The mission of the 5 Gyres Institute is to empower action against the global health crisis of plastic pollution through science, education, and adventure. Their vision is a world free of plastic pollution, according to its website 5gyres.org.
Maui’s single use plastic laws, policies, and practices seem to be in the forefront of the national movement. But heretofore, there hasn’t been much data collected. To that end, the crew will organize educational events and service projects in the communities they visit to learn how each other residents of the Pacific Islands are combating plastic pollution.
The voyage will be documented in 360-degree and ultra HD video for future education and outreach purposes.
Maui residents joining the Eat Less Plastic voyage in addition to Lara include Campbell Farrell, Executive Director of Love The Sea and co-creator of Ocean Aid Hawaii; Magdalena Carey, Honu Watch Naturalist for Hawaii Wildlife Fund; and Alexander Sasha Nitze, Owner of Cinemaui Studio.
Photo courtesy of Eat Less Plastic