It seems today that every mountain top has been climbed, every river kayaked down and every valley traversed. Whilst these journeys are incredibly inspiring, adventure doesn’t always need to be about pushing the limits and branching into “new” and exciting territory. Reframing the face of adventure is about continuing to appreciate and explore our natural world, whilst maintaining these sanctuaries for the benefit of the environment, ourselves, and future generations to come. We hope our adventure will inspire others to pursue their own, and also encourage people to begin their journey to protecting our beautiful oceans.
Marine debris is classified as man-made items that end up in the marine environment through littering or dumping. It injures and kills marine wildlife, affects human health and coastal habitats and is a major pollution issue around the world. Most of the marine debris we find today is made of plastic, which never “disappears”. By 2050, it is estimated that there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish, by weight. However, we, and many others around our globe, are determined to not let this happen.
Marine debris is an international problem that one country cannot fix alone. In the years following the 2011 Tsunami in Japan, residents along the coastlines of BC and Alaska saw just how connected our oceans are, as tonnes of trash washed up on their shores as a result of oceanic currents. In order to solve an issue of this magnitude, we need to work together, and tackle the problem from a variety of different angles; from behavioural change on the individual level, to changing international and national legislation.
Hope for a Grim Reality
Two decades ago, the average person had not been exposed to the concept of marine debris. This knowledge has since spread, but not wide enough, and not with the sense of urgency it requires. We need the world to know more, and we want the everyday person to understand the problem and most importantly, how to make a difference. In order to inspire others to also be stewards of our oceans, we will educate, lead by example, and continue the conversation.
People are becoming more aware of marine debris, and popular culture is shifting to be more aware of the waste we produce. Sailing La Vagabonde on YouTube does an entire episode dedicated to this here.
Citizen science is the collection and analysis of data relating to the natural world by members of the public. Citizen science initiatives help us to recognize human-made issues, address accountability within those issues, and take action to reduce their scope. The ability of citizens to access and contribute to marine debris data collection, has been paramount to tracing how much of it there is, where it comes from and, most importantly, how to stop it from entering our oceans.
We would like to encourage citizen science among our followers, as a fun, informative, and amazing way to interact with the world.