How bad is the situation with plastics in the ocean? Bad enough that the staff of the Algalita Marine Research Foundation are building “Junkraft,” a raft made of 20,000 discarded plastic bottles for sailing the 2100 miles from California to Hawaii to call attention to it. I stopped by to check out the construction this morning on the front lawn of the Long Beach Aquarium. Good friend and long time Shifting Baselines supporter Anna Cummins is working with her boyfriend Dr. Marcus Eriksen, Joel Paschal and a group of volunteers, stuffing mesh bags full of the plastic bottles. Patagonia donated a few thousand nalgene water bottles that they are now getting rid of due to recent concerns over contaminants in plastics. Marcus and Joel plan to set sail in about a month. It should take about six weeks from Los Angeles harbor to the Big Island of Hawaii. We’ll keep you posted on the project here, or you can follow the updates on their blog. It’s sure to be a big adventure.
Anna, Marcus and Joel sitting on one of the plastic bottle-filled pontoons. The raft will be supported by six of these pontoons which Marcus says will draw only about 8 inches of water.
This is the beginnings of the raft frame. The pontoons will be lashed beneath it. The airplane fuselage will serve as the cabin. Stay tuned for updates on the construction.