Environment 27 June 2016 10 1590
An all-female team of researchers and environmentalists board a yacht and head for the Caribbean. The 14 women come from all over the world and from a variety of backgrounds: there are marine scientists, biologists, geographers, filmmakers, artists, photographers, sailors, travellers and educators. United in their love of the ocean and the shared commitment to protect it from manmade pollution, these women are doing something about the problem. They set sail aboard the “Sea Dragon” to check the levels of contamination in and around the Caribbean.
Their main interest is micro plastic, a little known threat that keeps accumulating in our oceans, poisoning wildlife and endangering people. Because it’s so small, it’s still a little known environmental hazard. Nevertheless, these plastic pieces have a devastating impact on sea life and they bite back! The careless human race runs the risk of eating the tiny plastic particles in contaminated fish. This type of plastic tends to accumulate in what are called “oceanic gyres”- circular currents. Unheard of until recently, they were discovered by the crew’s leader, Emily Penn.
These eco explorers believe they can make a difference and contribute to cleaning up the world’s oceans. They are conducting research both at sea and ashore. They’re also educating kids and adults about what can be done to reduce the use of plastic. Confident that awareness is the first step towards change and that something can always be done to reduce the harmful consequences; they hope to inspire and empower others. After all, the health of the oceans is crucial for the health of the whole planet. These 14 very different but equally dedicated ocean advocates, by their own example, are encouraging others to pull together to protect the environment.