A Kon-Tiki-style raft aptly named Junk set sail from the Long Beach Aquarium in California on June 1. Buoyed by some 15,000 plastic bottles and built entirely of trash, Junk hopes to reach Hawaii and raise public awareness about the plastic debris that now fouls the world’s oceans.
Dr. Marcus Eriksen, Joel Paschal and Anna Cummins conceived the project while serving as crew aboard the ORV Alguita. Sponsored by the Algalita Marine Research Foundation of Long Beach, Calif.,the team was studying plastic marine debris in the North Pacific gyre. Eriksen, a science educator, Weather Channel personality and Gulf War veteran and Paschal, an experienced sailor, will be aboard Junk while Anna Cummins manages shoreside support for the voyage.
The raft is built entirely of recycled material, which includes rope woven from plastic bags and the fuselage of a Cessna 310 serving as a cabin. While there is no motor, the raft is equipped with navigation and communication electronics. A wide range of corporate and private sponsors has made the project possible.
To spread their message that our oceans are at risk from plastic debris the team has partnered with schools as well as civic and environmental organizations.
For more information including video links visit their blog at www.junkraft.blogspot.com.