Jordan Holsinger is our Scientific Manager and also manages the ASC microplastics project. He recently traveled to Monterey, California, to meet the participants of the Great Pacific Race, the first rowing race across the Pacific Ocean, and train them to collect samples for our microplastics project. Read more about Jordan on our staff page.
If rowing across an ocean is a major athletic and endurance feat, racing it must border on madness. Fewer people have rowed from California to Hawaii than have been in space.
Propelled only by their muscles and strength of will, the racers will trace a massive transect across the Pacific collecting samples for our microplastics project.
While many race entrants are committed to causes beyond themselves, the microplastics project ties all the crews together. During the course of the race – expected to take anywhere from 30 to 90 days – the crews will work together to create the largest human-powered microplastics sampling transect ever completed. This information will be used to fill in missing gaps about the state of plastic pollution in the open ocean.
Admittedly, the microplastics sample bottles and supplies don’t take up much room, nor does the protocol take much time. But when you’re stuffed into a tiny boat and rowing 12 or more hours each day, every bit of space and time counts. Yet every crew was excited to grab their sampling packets and rush off to their boats to stow them wherever they could find room. Many volunteered to collect more than their required two samples, hoping to provide even more valuable information in the fight to protect our oceans.
Visit our Great Pacific Race page for more information about the race, the crews and our microplastics project. Find more about this project and apply for a crew position on the Landmark page. Learn more about ASC projects on ourblog, and by following us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Google+.