Sunday, October 31, 2010


After eleven months of eager anticipation, in just a few days I will finally embark on a very exciting expedition with the 5 Gyres Institute.  For one full month, I will be part of a thirteen person crew on a 72-foot sail boat, sailing from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil to Cape Town, South Africa to study plastic pollution that has made its way from land to the middle of the South Atlantic.  

The photo above may look like remnants of a celebration, some sort of colorful confetti, but it actually is a photo taken by a friend showing what she found on the beach in Greece.  Unfortunately, this "plastic confetti" can be easily found on shores all around the world.  Pre-production plastic pellets (often called "nurdles"), bottle caps, toothbrushes, lighters, pens, toys, plastic bags...instead of going "away" much our waste has found its way into our oceans , where it accumulates in swirling vortexes and is easily mistaken for food by marine life.  This expedition will research the detrimental effects that plastic has on marine life and potentially human life as well.

Though I will not have internet access while at sea, I am hoping to send updates via satellite phone which will be posted here by friends and family for all who are interested in following my progress.  In addition, you may follow the expedition here:

I look forward to sharing this adventure with you and thank you for your interest in these important issues!

Mary Maxwell

1 comment:

  1. I am so glad you used the photo and to know you have a blog. I have a random goal to fill up a coke bottle of all the nurdle confetti I find during my next few trips to the sea.
    Safe travels! I can't wait to hear more!!

    You rock!! --<--@