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Help SCUBA DREW get evidence of the Pacific Trash Vortex

Discussion in 'Good Causes, Petitions and Solicitations' started by Shaka Doug, Apr 25, 2009.

  1. Shaka Doug

    Shaka Doug Loggerhead Turtle

    # of Dives:
    Location: Kihei, Maui, Hawaii 96753, middle of the 808!
    1,422
    130
    63
    Aloha friends and fellow Scubaboarders. There is a terrible problem out in the Pacific Ocean called the Pacific Trash Vortex. Due to it's vast size and undetermined specific location, many people on the planet have never heard of it. Amongst those who have, many are skeptical about it's potential threat to our wildlife and our long term survival on earth. Some think it's a hoax while others are convinced it's one of the greatest problems facing the world today. And then there's everyone in between. There's a lot of info out there but how much is fact and how much is fiction? We need proof.

    A good man from Oahu, Hawaii, by the name of Drew Wheeler (SCUBA DREW here on Scubaboard) has been there and he's going back. This time he's bringing his video equipment and he has an agenda....bring back the photographic evidence that the skeptics so desperately want and need. Show the world the situation so we know where we're at and what we need to do. It won't be easy and it will take about six weeks to accomplish. He needs your help to make it happen. Please go to www.trashvoyage.com and see what he's planning. You might just want to help him out. Cash works but maybe you have other ideas. I'm doing my part, can you?


    More Info below:
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------
    I'm making this post to bring attention to a very important situation that is occuring in our beloved ocean. It is a problem that is getting worse every day and something must be done to turn it around before it's too late. I'm talking about THE PACIFIC TRASH VORTEX. Have you heard of it? If not, it's time you do.

    [​IMG]

    Basically there is a massive accumulation of swirling plastic debris floating in the top thirty feet or so of the northern Pacific Ocean. Most people with any knowledge of the oceans are aware that the oceans have currents and they move in a clockwise direction north of the equator and counter-clockwise south of it. These are massive in size and it takes months for the water to cycle around. They never, ever stop moving and they are able to trap the floatsom and slowly cause it to congregate in the center. Apparently there are two main areas where this happens, the East Vortex (off the coast of Japan) and the West Vortex (about 1,000 miles north east of Hawaii). The West Vortex is estimated to cover an area that is twice the size of Texas!!! Since the invention of plastic in the 1930's and 1940's, pieces of it have been washing into the sea. Plastic, being light weight, has a tendency to float rather than sink so it floats around...FOR YEARS! While it's floating in the open sea, the sun slowly deteriorates it (Plastic doesn't biodegrade, it photodegrades..big difference!) and it breaks down into smaller and smaller pieces (that continue to float near the top). These small and even tinyest pieces are then consumed by fish and marine birds that inhabit this area. The living animals out there primarily feed on plankton and tend to filter the water for food. Now, in 2009, nearly 70 years after the introduction of plastic into our world, it is recorded that the plastic is in such high density out there that it out numbers the plankton, 6 to 1. That means for every mouthful that the fish or bird takes in, he's getting 6 pieces of plastic and one piece of plankton!!!! It shouldn't take you very long to realize that this is going to kill the animal, most likely before the animal has time to reach maturity and reproduce. That is exactly what is happening. Right NOW! It is reaching catastrophic proportions and is killing the worlds fish stocks.

    A fellow SCUBABOARDER from Oahu, Hawaii is going on a mission this summer to actually document this scenario. His name is Andrew Wheeler and he is known here on the board as SCUBADREWVIDEO (or ScubaDrew). He frequents the Hawaii O'Hana section of the forums.

    I started a thread a few months ago about the Pacific Trash Vortex and it is quickly becoming the most heavily viewed and discussed topic in all of the Hawaii O'hana threads. This topic really strikes a nerve with some people. Many need no convincing that there is a real problem, yet some chose not to believe it's true. Not all of the plastic stays in the sea, some makes it's way up on to the shore. It's the plastic that we don't see yet that is the biggest problem!!

    SCUBADREW has already been out to the vortex several years ago. He became active in the thread and is participating in a voyage this summer that will take two months to complete. He is working with the Algalita Research Foundation to sail out to the middle of the swirl, into the highest concentration of plastic to collect samples and video footage of this disgusting, toxic, plastic soup. This is strictly a volunteer effort and he is in need of financial support to make this happen.

    Here's what the fish see from below the surface:
    [​IMG]

    A quote taken from a blog I found on the subject:

    Swirling Mass of Ocean Trash Grows Bigger Than The U.S.
    by Kerry Trueman February 7, 2008 | 9:15 am EST


    "When that animal comes close to land, as it does at the Hawaiian archipelago, the results are dramatic.
    "The garbage patch barfs, and you get a beach covered with this confetti of plastic."

    Here's a picture of what Kamilo Beach looks like now:
    [​IMG]

    I am posting this here to help get the ball rolling for Scubadrew. Not sure how to make it happen but I am asking for your support, particularly financially, to help raise the money and awareness necessary to complete a voyage like this. I'm hoping ScubaDrew will be able to contribute to this post to advise us exactly how we can help. He is posting video logs of his progress and plans on YouTube. Here are his clips so you can see what's going on (sorry, part 3 is not available on YouTube):

    PART 1



    PART 2



    PART 4



    PART 5



    If you care about our oceans and life on planet earth, you will find a way to assist in some way. Start by refusing plastic bags at the grocery store, bring your own reusable bag whenever you can. Be cautious of how you handle your plastic garbage and recycle as much as you can. These simple steps can have a profound impact on the future of our seas. Spread the word so that others will know about the problem.

    Thank you very much! Together we can make a difference. I hope you can contribute to ScubaDrews cause. He's trying to work with Good Morning America and other news outlets to really alert the people of the planet about what we are doing and how we must change our ways or face the consequences. Do you have any contacts with the media that could prove helpful? If so, please speak up!

    Aloha and Mahalo!!!
     
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2009
  2. Teamcasa

    Teamcasa Sr. Moderator Staff Member ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Near Pasadena, CA
    12,122
    433
    83
    Good work Doug and Drew!
     
  3. Rick Murchison

    Rick Murchison Trusty Shellback Staff Member ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: Gulf of Mexico
    13,348
    543
    113
    Why in the world would "vast size" contribute to folks never hearing about it?
    As for skepticism, and the possible reasons some think it's a hoax... there I can help you. While I'm sure there must be patches of trash generally concentrated near the center of the Pacific gyre (there's plenty of evidence on beaches, and some folks have run across them and photographed them), I can guarantee that you can spend twenty years transiting the area from time to time and never see one - I did, and I had the benefit of looking around from very high vantage points while doing systematic searches of vast areas. And while I was looking for ships and boats rather than trash mats, (like the sargassum mats we see in the Atlantic and the Gulf) had there been any signifigant accumulations I'd have seen 'em. 'Course that was over 20 years ago...
    On the other hand, I will say this. There's far too much trash in the oceans. It's gotten to where very few beaches worldwide can be left unpoliced for even a few days without garbage of some sort showing up. We need to be proactive in encouraging folks to stop dumping trash - especially plastics - into it.
    In addition to using a boat to try to find what you're looking for, you might find it more productive to enlist the aid of folks who're out there looking around anyway. NASA, the Navy, NOAA. You'd be surprised what you can get on a "not to interfere with operations" basis.
    We used to report humpback and blue whale sightings, for example.
    Rick
     
  4. james croft

    james croft Solo Diver

    1,628
    48
    48
    I lost a Frisbee years ago in the Pacific. I tried to get it back but could not find it because of the rough surf.
    I'll bet anything it is in the Vortex. If Drew could get it back for me it would be awesome. If nothing else, at least knowing what happened to it will bring some closure to me and my kid brother.

    Being a beachcomber by heart it sounds like a good expedition.
     
  5. drbill

    drbill The Lorax for the Kelp Forest Scuba Legend

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: Santa Catalina Island, CA
    21,315
    3,750
    113
    Of course this is dealing only with that debris that will float.

    I was on board a support vessel for the Navy deep diving team training. They were only down to a depth of 500 ft for these activities, but one of the divers brought up dozens of glass bottles from the ocean floor. He said he only took the ones that were within reach.

    Best fishes to Drew in getting good documentary evidence of these vortices. I just received e-mail from a dive friend who couldn't believe the trash piling up on a beach in Mexico where she was diving. The locals tell her it comes from all over,m not just locally.
     
  6. Shaka Doug

    Shaka Doug Loggerhead Turtle

    # of Dives:
    Location: Kihei, Maui, Hawaii 96753, middle of the 808!
    1,422
    130
    63
    Drew just announced a benefit concert for the cause. Here's the flyer:

    [​IMG]

    It's June 5th, 10:00 pm. He leaves the next day. Plase help him out in any way you can. For more info call him at (808) 721-8639. Mahalo!
     
  7. scubadrewvideo

    scubadrewvideo Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives:
    Location: Kahuku, Oahu, Hawaii
    482
    2
    0
  8. scubadrewvideo

    scubadrewvideo Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives:
    Location: Kahuku, Oahu, Hawaii
    482
    2
    0
    Describe it to me and I will look for it.....:D
     
  9. scubadrewvideo

    scubadrewvideo Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives:
    Location: Kahuku, Oahu, Hawaii
    482
    2
    0
    Part 6


    I am still in need of....
    a PC based Laptop computer (Toughbook would be great)
    a back up Sony SR12 camera
    Wireless Microphones, headphones etc.
    Post production costs are not even close to being covered.
    Mahalo for all the support so far...at least I wont lose my house!!!
    Mahalo,
    ScubaDrew
     
  10. Shaka Doug

    Shaka Doug Loggerhead Turtle

    # of Dives:
    Location: Kihei, Maui, Hawaii 96753, middle of the 808!
    1,422
    130
    63
    Drew is about a week into the voyage. We're awaiting trip reports. I did hear something about him being sick the first day or two at sea. That could make for a tough couple of months! Good luck Drew!!
     

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