Mary Crowley Introduces Project Kaisei to The Harbour School Hong Kong, May 2013
Raising global awareness and understanding of the marine debris/ocean trash problem is a significant component of the mission of Project Kaisei. The impact on our ocean environment and how we can introduce solutions for both prevention and clean-up is a part of each educational presentation. In May of 2013, Mary Crowley, Co-founder and President, visited The Harbour School in Hong Kong to introduce Project Kaisei and to bring her first-hand experiences of the North Pacific Gyre and the marine debris/ocean trash issue directly to the students and faculty.
*Invested in caring about their role in the clean-up of the global ocean, the students from The Harbour School, in conjunction with Rock Asylum Foundation (RAF) released a video, “Plastic Ocean”. Written, produced, and recorded by the students of The Harbour School Hong Kong, this song/video exemplifies the very real and critical issues we all face, wherever we are in the world. Finished in only four days under the direction of RAF founder Paulie Z and teaching musician Tony Cortes, the students were responsible for coming up with their own topic as well as story boarding and choreography for the video. With serendipitous timing, students chose to learn and write about environmental studies.
Watch and listen to “Plastic Ocean” presented, written, produced and recorded by the students of The Harbour School Hong Kong:
Assembly bill AB 521 introduced this past February aims to clean up marine debris and shift the cost of controlling pollution to the responsibility of the manufacturers who produce it. Introduced by assemblymen Ben Hueso (D-San Diego) and Mark Stone (D-Monterey Bay), the bill declares plans to identify the products that contribute most to plastic ocean trash, set goals for recycling more of them, and reduce the litter they create.
Americans generate more waste than any other country in the world but recycle far less than other developed nations. Post-consumer packaging materials comprise the largest category of solid waste, and U.S. taxpayers pay for its management.
Extended producer responsibility, or EPR, shifts the responsibility for post-consumer waste from taxpayers and municipal governments to the companies that produce the packaging, creating incentives for producers to reduce the amount of packaging they create, increasing packaging recycling rates, providing revenue to improve recycling systems, and reducing carbon and energy use.
Plastic pollution off the northwest coast of North America is reaching the level of the notoriously polluted North Sea, according to a new study led by a researcher at the University of British Columbia.
The study, published online in the journal Marine Pollution Bulletin, examined stomach contents of beached northern fulmars on the coasts of British Columbia, Canada, and the states of Washington and Oregon, U.S.A.
“Like the canary in the coal mine, northern fulmars are sentinels of plastic pollution in our oceans,” says Stephanie Avery-Gomm, the study’s lead author and a graduate student in UBC’s Department of Zoology. “Their stomach content provides a ‘snapshot’ sample of plastic pollution from a large area of the northern Pacific Ocean.”
Small sample of debris generated by Japan tsunami.
The March 11, 2011, tsunami in Japan generated a large amount of debris. The debris quickly drifted offshore, dispersed and became invisible to existing observing systems. Recently, predictions of ocean models have been confirmed by direct observations, with the edge of the debris field located end of September only 300 miles northwest from Midway Islands.
Mary Crowley presented at a workshop addressing the tsunami debris approaching the Northwest Hawaiian Islands. All at the conference are looking for solutions to do selective cleanup of the debris in efforts to protect Midway and the Pacific Northwest.
Mary Crowley visited the Cook, Melville, and Gauguin exhibit at the Maritime Museum of San Diego. Mary is on the advisory board for the museum as regards their construction of the ship San Salvador. She had the opportunity to tour the building site with Dr. Raymond Ashley, Director of the museum. Anyone visiting San Diego should be sure to visit both the museum to see the great exhibit and the building site of the San Salvador.
Our cameras head out thousands of miles from the nearest land to a sea of garbage in the Pacific Ocean called the Eastern Garbage Patch. Trash has been quietly accumulating here for decades and most of it takes the form of millions of tiny plastic particles—a “plastic soup,” some have called it. Nobody knows what damage it could be doing to the ocean ecosystem and many experts say it’s virtually impossible to clean up. Dan Rather Reports
The Pacific Ocean is choking on plastic— bottles, buoys, toys, even lawn chairs. Some experts say cleanup is not only impossible but strategically misguided. Into this controversy sails Mary Crowley, a former sea captain with miracles on her mind. – Mary Crowley, in More Magazine
The July / August 2011 More Magazine issue includes an article about Mary Crowley and Project Kaisei. Read it here.
Local researchers said Thursday that fish in the middle depths of the North Pacific Ocean probably consume tens of thousands of tons of plastic debris each year. link
Plastics Entering the Human Food Chain
Acording to recent research at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California San Diego. Mary Crowley, founder of Project Kaisei, a nonprofit initiative that supported the Scripps research stated “Now that we know these toxins are getting into … our food chain, I believe it makes it even more important to do cleanup and to stop the flow of plastics in the global ocean.”
For the 2011 Social media week, Project Kaisei called upon students in Hong Kong to join in the Plastic Challenge: help to protect the environment and Hong Kong’s rich marine life by collecting plastic from homes, schools and offices, to be converted into liquid fuel using a news technology. Participants got to use the new, eco-friendly fuel to power a boat to see Hong Kong’s pink dolphins.